Tashi Dema

Out of the 23 cases registered in various courts against Karma Choki, who went online on Facebook alleging miscarriage of justice, 11 cases are apparently related to sale of her building and flats in the building in Olakha.

Records maintained with the judiciary showed that among the 11 cases, six are related to the sale of her whole building, while five are related to the sale of flats from the building.

The first case is with a highlander who purchased the building for Nu 14 million (M), and Thimphu dzongkhag’s commercial bench passed a compromised judgment on October 17, 2019, in which Karma Choki has to pay the money to the highlander.

The then-judgment stated that if Karma Choki could not pay the amount, the building would be surrendered as per their compromised agreement to the highlander.

However, the judgement still has not been enforced.

Karma Cheki claimed that she met the highlander through a broker from Nepal in 2019.

The second case is with Dendup Tshomo, who claimed that she bought the building for Nu 25M. The commercial bench, however, ruled that the agreement on the sale of the building was fake, and ordered Karma Choki to repay the Nu 6.3M she borrowed from Dendup Tshomo.

Similarly, the court nullified two other cases.

A litigant, Dawa Penjor, claimed he bought the building for Nu 35M, but the court ruled that the agreement was fake and ordered Karma Choki to repay Nu 3.6M she borrowed from him.

In another case, litigant Ngawang Gyeltshen claimed he bought four units of the building for Nu 10M, but the court ruled that the agreement was fake and ordered Karma Choki to pay the Nu 3M she borrowed from him.

The commercial bench also ordered Karma Choki to pay Nu 2.8M after a litigant, Dorji Tshewang, claimed he bought two units in the building from the woman for Nu 2.5M.

The same court also passed another judgment where Karma Choki has to pay another Nu 2.8M to litigant Kinzang Namgyel, who bought two flats in the building.

In Paro dzongkhag court, Karma Choki is also subject to seven cases, where one is the sale of the building to Tshering Wangmo and Pema Tshering, and the other one is sale of a flat to Yonten Dorji for Nu 1M. Both cases are still under trial.

The court also ordered her to pay Nu 257,407 to a litigant called Pem, who claimed she paid money to buy a flat.

There are another five cases registered with Thimphu dzongkhag court’s civil bench. A case is under litigation where a litigant, Tempa Gyeltshen, alleged he bought the building with an advance payment of Nu 2M.

Bhutan National Bank also filed a case against Karma Choki when she defaulted on a loan of Nu 14M and her brother’s Nu 2M took from the bank by mortgaging the building. The court ordered her to pay the amount with interest.

Since she could not make the payment and the loan defaulted, the court gave rent collection authority to the bank.

While the other cases are mostly monetary, related to sales of cordyceps, land, and vehicles, three cases are in Thimphu dzongkhag court’s criminal bench. A case relates to criminal fraud and aid abetment, where she was sentenced to 10 months in prison and currently serving a prison term, but is on medical treatment; the other two are related to fraudulent document writing through deception. The cases are on trial.

Meanwhile, Karma Choki claimed that out of the 23 cases, she filed three cases for the sale of vehicles. “In one case, I proved that the other litigant lied, but he was not penalised.”

She said that in many cases, she borrowed money, but made agreements because of private money lending rules. “The court only penalised me, but not the litigants who made fake agreements and lied before the court.”

Court officials, however, said she was convicted because she made the fake sales deeds.

“The court penalised the money lenders, as their sales deeds were not recognised,” an official said. “The other litigants did not get their money back and they are more aggrieved. Some even took out loans to lend to her.”

They said she conned many people into making the fake sales deeds although she already sold the building. 

Court officials also claimed that she was given the opportunity to make partial payments even before she posted online, but she never brought the money.

“Even after she went live, the court waited for her to pay Nu 8M to the first litigant, but she never paid the money until yesterday,” a court official said. “She is misusing social media.”

The court official said she made many conditions before making the payment and never brought the money. “She is asking us to release her building, which is mortgaged with BNB.”

Karma Choki claimed she would make the payment today and said she waited for the court to issue her an order where she can collect the rent herself.