Tibetan Cabinet lawyer summoned for contempt of court’s decision

Lobsang Dakpa, defendant lawyer of President of Central Tibetan Administration Lobsang Sangay and his Cabinet, speaks to the press after the first hearing of the defamation case filed by Penpa Tsering against them, in Dharamshala, India, on 5 June 2019.

Lobsang Dakpa, defendant lawyer of President of Central Tibetan Administration Lobsang Sangay and his Cabinet, speaks to the press after the first hearing of the defamation case filed by Penpa Tsering against them, in Dharamshala, India, on 5 June 2019. File photo/Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

Tibet Sun Newsroom

McLEOD GANJ, India, 5 December 2019

The Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission (TSJC) has summoned lawyer of the Tibetan Cabinet Lobsang Dakpa to hear his explanation for his comments on the court’s decision in Case no 20. The matter will be heard tomorrow (6 December) at 2:30 pm India time.

Lobsang Dakpa said during a press conference after the court issued its decision on 14 October that it was “not a fair judgment”. “The judgment was not based on facts. Confidential documents were nullified, as well as documents related to Ganden Phodrang were all ignored and withdrawn,” he said.

He added that the Cabinet’s witness Dhardon Sharling was discredited, the court saying she was not able to prove her stand. “The other two who were named as witnesses along with Dhardon were not even contacted to ask their opinions.”

Plaintiff Penpa Tsering appealed to the Tibetan court to take action against Lobsang Dakpa for his comments criticising the court’s judgment, which falls under “Contempt of Court” in Civil Procedure Article 84.

A summons issued to Lobsang Dakpa by TSJC on 22 November said that he has been called to explain why he should not be penalised for the comments.

The Lobsang Sangay-led Cabinet of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) issued a 10-point charge against Penpa Tsering justifying their dismissal of him from the Office of Tibet in Washington DC. The post he held is called the Representative of the Dalai Lama.

The ninth point of the charges said: “He [Penpa Tsering] tried hard to convince a female Kalon nominee against working with Sikyong, stating that doing so would jeopardise the individual’s career. The individual had to put up with a four-hour session of Representative Penpa Tsering making disparaging remarks about Sikyong and trying to foil Sikyong’s attempts to appoint the only female Kalon.”

Dhardon Sharling stood as witness in the court on 7 August. Jigme Tsultrim stood as witness supporting the plaintiff Penpa Tsering.

The Tibetan court in its judgment cleared Penpa Tsering of all ten charges against him, and ordered the Cabinet to issue a written apology to be published in all its information outlets.

Another part of the order: to pay Penpa Tsering’s lawyar Namgyal Tsekyi a sum of rupees 98,000 (1,400 USD approx) was fulfilled by the Cabinet.

Since the Cabinet had not fully conformed to the order by the 13 November deadline, Penpa Tsering appealed to the court to take cognisance of the matter under Civil Procedure Article 84.

Then a second order was issued asking the Cabinet to apologise by 27 December, failing which the rights of the members to stand in elections and to vote would be withheld.


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