English | Dzongkha Sunday, May 16, 2021

Establishment of a National Forensic Facility to bridge the justice gap in the country


Mar 16, 2021

The Austrian Government has committed to funding the construction of a National Forensic Facility in Thimphu. The lack of such a facility has been a major setback in providing evidence thereby delaying justice. This was highlighted during the first-ever joint investigation and prosecution training that kicked off yesterday in Paro. 

Over the past few years, 137 forensic cases with over a thousand samples have been sent to India and third countries for which the results are awaited. And nearly 15 forensic cases could not be sent due to the COVID-19 situation.

With the forensic facility at the public health laboratory in Serbithang, Thimphu established, such delays are expected to end.

“With the facility in place, we can prosecute the judicial process at the earliest. This will benefit all the people, especially minors and women. Even the Jury can pass the judgment on time and the police can investigate the cases early and efficiently,” said Lungten Dubgyur, the Attorney General.

“Even if we can prove the alleged ones we need evidence to back up our statement. And to produce the evidence we need facilities that we don’t have currently. Therefore while we wait for the process, it takes time and people then accuse us of not being able to arrest or not forwarding cases to court. This is one challenge we face right now,” added Chador Namgay, Officer Commanding of Punakha police.

The government with financial assistance from the Austrian government has completed the groundwork of the facility.

“We are also contributing financially to getting in contact with the consultant who is helping Bhutan in establishing this forensic lab. This is highly technical, we cannot imagine constructing a building and installing equipment. It is very technical and the building itself needs expertise so we have progress. We are confident that within the next years the forensic lab will be established,” remarked Gerhard Adam, the Head of Office of Austrian Development Agency.

The Austrian Government has committed some 800,000 Euros for the forensic lab and consultancy expertise. The facility is expected to complete before the end of 2022.

Namgay Wangchuk, Paro

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