Nima Wangdi

The judiciary will now assess all allegations against the institution and its employees through its newly established media and communication unit at the Supreme Court (SC).

SC’s Registrar General Gembo Dorji said that the unit, launched on May 14, would assess any allegations against the Judiciary and its employees by any media or individual. “Where allegations are found true, the unit will facilitate the judiciary to take appropriate actions against responsible officials. It will also facilitate judiciary to take befitting actions against any person or media for belittling and defaming the Judiciary if the allegations were false,”

He said the outcomes of the assessments and the actions taken against the judiciary employees following complaints will too be made public.

The press release from the SC stated that, in recent times, the Judiciary has witnessed a new trend of print, social and other online media platforms maligning the Judiciary and its employees, often levelling allegations of bias, injustice, and miscarriage of justice. “Gradual feeding of such unverified information to the public has a drastic effect on the level of public trust and confidence in the Judiciary.”

“The unit will bridge the communication between the judiciary and public. It will ensure credible and responsible information dissemination by the media and online platforms,” the press release stated.

A senior Court Registrar under the supervision of the Registrar General will run the unit for now.

The press release stated that they recognize the privileges resulting from one’s fundamental right to freedom of press, radio and television and other forms of dissemination of information, including online. “We also recognise this right does not entitle anyone to unlimited and unriddled freedom.”

While the Judiciary will continue to acknowledge fair, independent, accurate and accountable media content creations, we will, through the unit, take all preventive as well as curative measures against the unfair, false, biased and irresponsible media content creation.

“We solicit the media outlets and any person to research, scrutinize and investigate before reporting anything heard, seen or read about the Judiciary,” the press release stated that the unit would remain open to dialogue on any issues on priority by appointment.


Enforcement Unit

Judiciary having observed frustration among the public about the lack of a proper mechanism to enforce court judgments, an enforcement unit was established on the same day at the Thimphu district court. Functioning under the Chief Judge, a team headed by a Court Registrar will man the unit.

Gembo Dorji said, in the past, the judges passed the judgments and they did not follow up on them thinking they have been enforced accordingly. However, there were cases in which the parties failed to fulfill judgments.

“The judge, who actually passed the judgment in the past had to completely revisit the case, which hampered their time for adjudication. The unit will strive to ensure timely enforcement of court decisions,” he said this will also help expedite court hearings.

He said, all the benches, on the 11th working day after passing the judgments shall forward the case file to the unit. The appellate courts that upheld the decision of the District Court shall also forward the case file to the unit.

Gembo Dorji said, the parties, in case of any mutual agreements within in enforcing the judgments should inform the unit accordingly. The court will call the parties for the enforcement otherwise.