Nov 20: Chief Justice Sonam Tobgye has retired from his service last week (November 14) though a formal announcement has not been made. Other two judges in the place Jigme Zangpo will retire on December 10 and Sither Namgyel on December 29.
With this, the high court, the highest institution of judiciary for now, will have only one judge in the seat in the next one and half months.
Tshering Wangchuk then will have to look after all cases registered at the court. Legally, the court should have eight judges and a chief justice. Today there are only three judges.
Wangchuk will look into some 100 appeal cases that are pending out of 182 registered as of August. According to court procedures, cases registered at the high court should be decided by a bench with at least two to three judges.
Appointment of judges has been delayed due to ignorance of the government for formation of the National Judicial Commission, which recommends appointment of judges and justices to the king.
Formation of the commission cannot take place unless Supreme Court is constituted. The government says without completing construction of the court building, establishment of Supreme Court is out of debate. Constitution provisioned for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and senior most justice of the Supreme Court as the members of the commission.