Dungkhag: The Weringla dungkhag court in Mongar has been without a drangpon (judge) for about five months now since the death of the former judge.

This, according to villagers, was an issue as they are delayed justice in absence of a judge.

The dungkhag court caters to villagers of Silambi and Gondu gewogs. There are about 675 households and a population of about 6,673 in the two gewogs. Weringla dungkhag is about seven hours walk from Harpola in Silambi gewog while Silambi gewog is more than seven hours drive from Mongar.

The Mongar drangpon presided over 100 pending cases and passed the verdicts. About seven new cases were registered in June alone.

Some villager said that at times the bench clerk carried out hearings of certain cases with permission from Mongar drangpon. The dungkhag bench clerk said most cases that the court registered were civil and not criminal cases. “Whenever the Mongar drangpon visits the dungkhag court, he presides over the cases,” the bench clerk said.

Villagers said that in absence of a drangpon, court cases took long which was an issue. They emphasised the need for a drangpon as soon as possible. “We do get justice but its delayed,” farmer Tshering Dhendup, who had filed a court case with his wife, said.

Another villager, Sangay Dorji, 67, said he received the verdict for his court case just recently. “Its difficult to update the status of the court case as I have to walk for more than two hours to reach the court,” he said.

Similarly, it has been two months since Werinlga dungkhag administration has been left without a dungpa with its former dungpa transferred as the Bumthang dzongrab. At present, the dungkhag administrative officer is the officiating dungpa.

Tashi Phuntsho, Mongar