By Tenzin Sangmo
Defendant’s lawyer in Case No. 20 seeking adjournment at the first hearing session. PC- TSJC
DHARAMSHALA, June 13: The Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission (TSJC), the apex judicial body of the Central Tibetan Administration, has rejected the defendants’ adjournment request put forward at the first hearing of the Case No. 20.
The court had given the ruling in a notice to the defendant lawyer Lobsang Dakpa on Monday.
The defamation case filed in May 2018 by former US Representative Penpa Tsering against the incumbent President Dr. Lobsang Sangay led 15th Kashag (cabinet) over reasons for his dismissal from the post of Representative had its first hearing on June 5, 2019, after more than a year.
The defendant lawyer’s adjournment appeal tabled in the final hour of the first hearing session jolted the plaintiff party into a vehement objection with Penpa Tsering arguing that further extension could amount to delaying and denying justice.
The defendant was first ordered to respond to the complaint by August 20, 2018, was granted an extension of 90 days by the Commission until November 20th, 2018.
A TSJC letter to the respondent dated December 7, 2018, acquired by the media instructed the defendant to rewrite the statement of defence, apparently submitted on November 30, 2018 and gave time till January 15, 2019, to respond.
While Penpa Tsering appeared along with his lawyer Namgyal Tsekyi at the hearing, the defendant was represented only by his lawyer.
The request for an extension has picked up discussion in the public sphere about delaying tactics employed by the defendant, as it is understood that the current Chief Justice Commissioner will be completing his term in a few months’ time.
With the adjournment plea denied, the next hearing could be scheduled anytime now following a public notice as promised by the Commission.