English | Dzongkha Tuesday, August 4, 2020

HC upholds District Court’s judgement in favour of BoB employee

Sep 19, 2019

The High Court(HC) upheld the Thimphu District Court’s judgement asking Bank of Bhutan (BoB) to reinstate one of its employees and pay a compensation of Nu 22,500. The judgment was passed on September 17.

Dissatisfied with the judgment of Thimphu District Court, BoB appealed to the High Court in April this year.

The high court’s judgment also says the bank should pay her salary, bonus and other benefits that she was deprived of until now.

Kesang Wangmo was working as an officiating head in Shared Service Division with the BoB. She took a maternity leave of three months and an extraordinary leave of six months in July 2017 after signing an undertaking letter with the bank. And when she joined back in the office in February last year, she was relieved of her duties after one month and her gratuity and other allowances were deposited in her account. The judgment also asked the bank to take back the amount from her account.

The BoB in their appeal letter to the High Court stated that the district court’s judgement on the reinstatement of the employee is unclear and that a certain period should be fixed for her to serve the company once reinstated. It also says that it is unfair for BoB to pay the compensation to the employee and that she is not entitled to gross salary and other benefits since she did not serve BoB.

Kesang’s lawyer submitted that it is not wise to fix a certain period for her to serve the company since she is not a new recruit. He also submitted that she deserves the gross salary, other benefits like bonus and performance-based variable allowances like any other employees since she was made to compulsorily retire.

However, the High Court dismissed the bank’s statement and ruled that the bank could not prove their basis to compulsorily retire her.

Earlier, the legal officer of the bank submitted to the district court that the decision was made as per the undertaking letter. And the bank had to recruit someone to fill the post as per their urgent requirement. The legal officer had also said there was no responsibility relevant to her qualification in the human resources section where she was placed after returning from her leave.

According to the district court’s judgment, the bank’s service rule was not in line with the Labour and Employment Act of Bhutan 2007. The labour ministry had also directed the bank to reinstate her but it was not followed after which she took the case to court in June last year.

Pema Tshewang

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