Until court proceedings are over

Staff Reporter

The Royal Civil Service Commission following a special commission meeting yesterday, decided to suspend the President of the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH), Lhab Dorji.

The suspension comes into immediate effect until the completion of the court proceedings.

In a press release the commission uploaded on its website, the commission stated considering the possibilities of different administrative actions depending on whether a person appeals or not, the commission awaited the completion of the 10 working day appeal period.

The President was convicted by the Trongsa dzongkhag court in a land case that he was involved when he was the Trongsa dzongdag. The court, on November 14, convicted the former Trongsa dzongdag to 13 years in prison in connection to an illegal land acquisition case, but was given a concurrent sentencing of five years prison term. He was found guilty of four counts of forgery, three counts of official misconduct and execution of document by deception.

The former dzongdag appealed to the High Court one day after the verdict was passed.

The commission deliberated his case and following section 19.10.5 of the Bhutan Civil Service Rules, 2018, decided to suspend him. The section considers public interest as the guiding factor in deciding to place a civil servant under suspension.

Section states that “factors such as matters involving corruption, embezzlement or misappropriation of government money, possession of disproportionate assets and misuse of official powers for personal gain, shall be considered to place a civil servant under suspension.”

The President will be entitled to benefits during suspension according to the BSCR.

A civil servant under suspension receives a subsistence allowance of an amount equal to half the basic pay he was receiving before the suspension.

The subsistence allowance at 50 percent of the last basic pay is paid until the completion of Court/disciplinary proceedings. However, he shall be entitled to receive the remaining 50 percent of his basic salary and other benefits as applicable for the entire period of suspension on finalisation of the Court/disciplinary proceedings if the civil servant is found innocent and acquitted of all charges and accordingly reinstated in service.

The BCSR also considers the suspension period as part of active service for the purpose of gratuity, annual increment, and promotion only if the respondent civil servant is found innocent and acquitted of all charges and accordingly reinstated.