In a major reform, Supreme Court Chief Justice Chogyal Dago Rigdzin dissolved the larger bench of the High Court on May 4.
According to the order, he issued, the larger bench had become a bottleneck in delivering swift justice. Many litigants prolonged the resolution of their cases by appealing to the larger bench and then to the Supreme Court. The removal of the larger bench has shortened the appeal process and litigants can now appeal directly to the Supreme Court.
The appeals from the respective benches to the larger bench also caused delay in delivering justice to litigants involved in other cases. The delays result in losses for the parties in terms of time and resources, the justice said.
A High Court justice said that the larger bench was established in the absence of the Supreme Court in the past. “It is irrelevant now.” Moreover, the existence of the larger bench is not in accordance with the constitution or any other laws, the justice said.
The larger bench currently has around 400 appeal cases. To expedite the resolution of these cases, a group of three justices has been reviewing the cases and are tasked to render judgments at the earliest, the justice said. However, clearing the backlog of cases is expected to take at least 10 months.