Her Royal Highness Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck inaugurated the newly built Punakha dzongkhag court, yesterday.

The court will provide judicial services to more than 27,000 people of Punakha dzongkhag. The two-storeyed court was constructed at a cost of Nu 46 million and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Austrian Development Cooperation.

It is located above the Guma gewog centre on the hill facing Punakha Dzong.

Until now, the dzongkhag court in Punakha was functioning from Punakha Dzong and sharing the space with the office of the dzongkhag administration.

Officials said the building is earthquake resilient with separate detention rooms for men, women and children. Court officials said the construction of the new court is timely as it provides structural independence to the dzongkhag judicial system.

There was a requirement for a larger dzongkhag court given the increasing need for judicial services, officials said. Cases with the court increased from 1,167 in 2014 to 1,447 last year.

The Punakha dzongkhag court has been functioning since 1974.

Staff Reporter