Supreme Court orders Kosphu residents to give water to hotel owner

In a recent verdict, the Supreme Court has ordered the people of Kosphu in Trashigang’s Lumang Gewog to supply water to a hotel owner in Moshi. The case reached the Supreme Court after a long-standing legal dispute between the Kosphu residents and the hotel owner.

Kosphu received reliable drinking water from a source 32 kilometres away.

After villagers denied water to a hotel owner, he filed a case in Wamrong Dungkhag Court, which permitted him to use water for three hours daily.  Before the dungkhag court’s ruling, the Wamrong Dungkhag officials had asked villagers to provide water to the hotel because its other two sources could not reach the attic of the hotel.

The villagers appealed to the Trashigang District Court and the High Court, but both upheld the initial judgment.

In March, Kosphu villagers took the case to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, in reversal to the High Court’s decision, stated that the hotel owner need not pay an additional 10,000 ngultrum for labour costs.

Regarding the villagers’ claim that they were forced to sign an agreement to supply water, the Court found that they did not object within 10 days as required by the Evidence Act of Bhutan 2005 and therefore, the agreement could not be nullified.

Sonam Dargay, Trashigang

Edited by Sherub Dorji

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