If you catch him in a roomful of people, he will look like any other prosperous and satisfied civil servant, mingling with other guests. He has a smile and something nice to say. It is not put on, as someone who doesn’t know him may think.
Some may even allege he is slow. But no, he is thorough. As a judge, he doesn’t give the judgement before hand. Once he is sure everything is in order, he will implant his signature on the document. That experience had been shared by many.
Well, there was this case of some one who had to get the documents signed by the High Court Judge, that he was then. But before the documents can be signed, they had to be investigated and ascertained. Meanwhile, he had to leave on a tour of the southern dzongkhags. But before he left, he asked the person to get all the relevant documents that were required. It took the person as long as it took the Chief Justice to complete his tour.
One fine morning person went to the High Court to find all the papers signed, with instructions that certain missing ones should be attached. Now, who would have even bothered to give that instruction? But then, lack of those documents would have meant a delay.
And to whim, justice delayed is justice denied.
So having served the Tsa-wa-sum for the last 38 years, of which 25 years were spent in the judiciary and 19 years as the Chief Justice of High Court, he retired. But then before he could even think of a peaceful retired life, he had been called back to duty.
Well, good men are rare. And the opportunities to fill in the blanks in history is even rarer. We always have to look for the best who would serve the nation. That sounds almost like the elimination game. But then to the discerning ones, it isn’t so.
At this point in history, we do not have the luxury of choice or experimentation. We have to go for the one in whom we can repose our confidence and faith. For that we have to go by the track record. This is not to say that there may not be others who are equally competent enough.
The post calls for not competence, but also sagacity and experience, and some one with a track record of consistency, knowledge and loyalty and dedication. And who would be more appropriate than him, considering the duties and responsibilities of the Chief Justice of Bhutan’s first Supreme Court.
He piloted how the judicial system should move in consonance with the political, economic and social developments taking place in the country. He supervised the drafting of the constitution and worked on the preparation for the introduction of the democratic process in the country.
The Supreme Court of Bhutan is an integral and critical entity of the democratic institutional framework mandated by the Constitution at this point in the political history of the country. The Supreme Court must ensure that the actions of the Legislature or Executive or any entity are in full consonants with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
As he himself said, the Supreme Court, being the guardian of the Constitution, must be guarded well consistently, consciously and constantly by adhering to the inalienable principles of the Constitution which should give decision on all matters without fear and favour.
Who would know that better than the man who steered the development of the judicial system in the country for the last 25 years.