Phurpa Lhamo

The Office of Attorney General (OAG) dropped the alleged State land encroachment case against the former Shelngana gup.

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) received the letter from the OAG on November 23 and is reviewing the grounds on which the OAG had dismissed the case. ACC’s investigation report was forwarded to the OAG on June 30 this year.

ACC’s investigation began after it received a complaint against the serving Shelngana gup alleging that he had surveyed and registered a State land in his wife’s name in the pretense of surveying an omitted land reflected in her Chagzhag thram. The reflected land was called Kuchey Parkha Damlekna.

The investigation revealed that former gup’s wife had received a thram including the 80-decimal Kuchey Parkha Damlekna and another plot (Shongkhalog Pungyarmo Tsawa) from her grandfather Shar Thinley as a gift in 2010.

However, the report found that the 80-decimals Kuchey Parkha Damlekna was not surveyed during the detailed survey in 1991 and in the New Sa-Thram Compilation (NSC) Survey in 2000.

“Since the plot couldn’t be identified on the ground, it was not reflected in any of the maps prior to the NCRP in 2011,” the report stated.

Also, ACC found an application at NLCS, which was submitted by Shar Thinley, requesting the alleged plot to be removed from his thram as it could not be found.

ACC’s report stated that local residents claimed that Kuchey Parkha Damlekna was taken by late Kaylon Japha Dorji from Shar Thinley and was later given to Kaylon Japha Dorji’s niece Dorji Pelmo, who is currently cultivating the land.

“The plot registered in her name is Kuchey Parkha Shamkharlog Damzhing,” the report stated. “However, due to absence of records and documents prior to 1980 at the National Land Commission Secretariat (NLCS), the Commission couldn’t establish if the alleged plot was indeed taken by late Kaylon Japha Dorji.”

After the thram was transferred to the former gup’s wife from Shar Thinley, the report states that the gup wrote on behalf of this wife and submitted an application in 2011 claiming that the alleged plot exists but has been omitted from the map.

“He then endorses the application in the capacity of a gup along with two Sai tshogpas. Then NCRP surveyor had surveyed the plot shown by the landowner’s representative (the gup). He had identified a State land near their family’s land as Kuchey Parkha Damlekna,” the report stated.

Family members of the gup earlier told Kuensel that ACC had falsely implicated and tainted the gup’s image in connection with an alleged State land encroachment case.

A family member earlier told Kuensel that the alleged State land in question was already resolved by the NLCS in 2017.

“My sister and brother-in-law had followed due process to re-survey the omitted land from their grandfather’s thram.”

OAG’s dismissal 

In the dismissal letter to the ACC by the OAG, it was stated that the alleged plot Kuchey Parkha Damlekna measuring 80 decimals already existed in the name of Shar Thinley under his old thram along with the plot named Shongkhalog Pungyarmo Tsawa in 1980 Chaza Thram.

The letter stated that the wetland named Kuchey Parkha Shamkharlog Damzhing measuring 41 decimals also existed in the name of Dorji Pemo under her thram number 80 in the 1980 Chagzha thram.

“The alleged claim of the plot taken over by late Kaylon Japha Dorji and supposedly given to Dorji Pelmo is not substantiated by reliable records and documents. Should the claims be genuine, there must either be two plots in the name of Dorji Pelmo or the wetland (she already owned with different name acreage as kuchey Parkha Shamkharlog Damzhing since 1980 chagzha thram) must get replaced by the former,” it stated.

It added that the local residents’ statement as to the land given to Kyalon Japha Dorji was far fetched without reliable transfer related documents and records. “Moreover, Shar Thinley’s application to remove the land from his thram due to non-existence of the land is not exhaustive to conclude that the land was indeed taken by late Kaylon Japha Dorji, which later inherited by Dorji Pelmo.”

“The land that exists in 1980 chazha thram till 1991 survey which disappeared by 2000 NSC survey clearly suggest the plot in fact omitted.”

Further, the letter stated that the office couldn’t establish the misuse of the authority by the gup.

“It is apparent that the gup had complied to the lawful procedure as the application he submitted on behalf of Passing Wangmo was duly endorsed by him in the capacity as gup along with two said tshogpas and was subsequently surveyed by the surveyor.”

“There are no criminal elements of having solicited, influenced, or instructed the two other endorsing committee members upon the misuse of authority by the suspect.”

The office opined and unanimously concluded that the land, which existed in Shar Thinley’s Chazha Thram was in fact omitted the letter stated.

Edited by Tshering Palden