Nim Dorji | Trongsa

Trongsa court held a session to hear the alleged victims and witnesses of the sexual harassment case against three former lecturers of Taktse college on July 9.

The court had identified 21 victims and 74 witnesses.

The hearing was scheduled months ago, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was postponed.

The social distancing protocol and administrative inconveniences, the victim and witness hearings are being conducted in a protracted manner. Eight victims were heard on July 9.

For one of the victims who had recently given birth, the court arranged to conduct the hearing through video conference.

She was allowed to approach the judge of the dzongkhag of her residence and submitted the statement before that judge. The statement was then emailed to Trongsa court.

The court is going to make similar arrangements for those victims or witnesses who cannot attend the hearings in person.

The court made a temporary partition using curtains and conducted the hearing to ensure that the victims were not seen by the defendants and others in the court.

Meanwhile, Trongsa court summoned the legal representative of the Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority (BICMA) and sought a detailed explanation on why the authority approved the book titled “Turning Point” written by one of the defendants in the case as the matter was still pending before the court.

The content of the book is said to have defamed the police.

Trongsa police on January 13 submitted to the court that the content of the book was related to the police investigation and sexual harassment case that the author was involved in. They claimed that its publication and distribution was sub judice.

Trongsa police requested the dzongkhag court to issue an injunction order to stop the distribution of the book. The court decided to hear from BICMA.

BICMA has to show cause on why the court should not take action against the authority in case if there are lapses on their part on issuing the approval.

BICMA should also mention the next course of action if the insight of the book is ruled defamatory or causing disharmony.

BICMA has to email the detailed explanation on or before July 20.