By Tenzin Sangmo
Case No. 20 second hearing - Issue framing. PC- TSJC
DHARAMSHALA, June 15: The second hearing of Case No. 20 at the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission (TSJC) this afternoon completed the framing of the issue and gave the parties time until June 19 to submit in writing anything related to the framed issues before the trial begins.
The first hearing ten days ago was taken up by “Clarification of Issue” arising from complaint and statement of defence. It was briefly interrupted by the defendant’s adjournment plea at the 11th hour but the commission resumed the clarification after announcing that the plea will be considered after a discussion.
A notice rejecting the adjournment plea was sent on June 10th to the defendant and a copy served to the complainant.
The Commission, in its opening remark today made known the reasons for denial of defendant’s adjournment request calling it unnecessary and the request process outside the courtroom’s decorum.
The adjournment plea was placed in order to answer the clarification questions in greater detail but the plea was made after eight of ten questions posed went without additional information with the defendant’s lawyer telling the court to refer to the statement of defence.
The commission also added that its order issued on Dec. 7, 2018, advising the defendant to rewrite its statement of defence categorically instructed the party to provide specific answers to each question.
“Given that the defendant overlooked the instruction and then asked for an additional time now to follow the instruction remains unacceptable.”
While the plaintiff was accompanied by his lawyer, the defence lawyer showed up with four members or representatives of Kashag, Health Kalon, the former Cabinet Secretary, the incumbent Cabinet Secretary and the incumbent Under Secretary.
The 10-point clarification published by the Kashag on 18 November 2017 in defence of its dismissal of former Representative from Washington office largely forms the issue of contention.
Barring the 1st and the 10th points, the remaining eight points considered “factual issues” are being rejected by the complainant and defended by the respondent, to be resolved through trial.
The Chief Justice Commissioner also stated that the questions posed at the first hearing in clarification round were the result of the Commission’s in-depth analysis of the written statements from Jan 15th to June 4, 2019.
“The defendant in this case,” he cited, “has responded to five different questions with only a few paragraphs, failing to adhere to the Commission’s instruction to respond to each question specifically.”
The Chief Justice Commissioner remarked that the commission has provided numerous instructions along the way to the defendant, akin to hand holding a child and said, “misinterpreting the court’s instruction could only affect the respondent negatively.”
The trial is expected to undergo several rounds before a verdict can be issued.