Judiciary generates over Nu. 37 Million in revenue

In a significant milestone for the Bhutanese judiciary, the annual report for the year 2023 has revealed that the Judiciary has generated revenues exceeding Nu 37 Million (M). The report, released by the Judiciary of Bhutan, provides a comprehensive overview of the revenue generated by various courts across the nation, shedding light on their financial contributions and reflecting the dynamics of caseloads and collected fines and fees.

At the forefront of revenue generation is the Gelephu court, which stands out with a substantial contribution of Nu 3,72,1868.62. This underscores Gelephu’s pivotal role as a significant judicial center in the country. Following closely behind is the Phuentsholing court, adding Nu 3,65,5775 to the national coffers.

Notably, some courts such as Dorokha and Lingzhi registered relatively modest figures, while others like Thimphu and Bumthang significantly bolstered the overall revenue, each exceeding eight digits. Thimphu, serving as the capital’s court, notably yielded Nu 1,150,3374, highlighting its pivotal role in the legal landscape of Bhutan.

Furthermore, the data highlights the contributions of smaller courts scattered across the nation. Courts in remote areas like Sombaykha and Lhamoizingkha, though modest in their revenue, demonstrate the equitable distribution of judicial services throughout the country.

The collective contribution of the High Court and Supreme Court, amounting to Nu 16,53,450, signifies their role in handling higher-profile cases and appeals, further highlighting the effectiveness of the Bhutanese judicial system.

Overall, the revenue figures not only reflect the financial health of the judiciary but also provide insights into regional legal dynamics and the distribution of caseloads across Bhutan. They serve as a testament to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Bhutanese judicial system in administering justice and upholding the rule of law across the nation.

Meanwhile, the Chief Justice of Bhutan expressed gratitude towards the concerted efforts of the judicial personnel who have worked tirelessly to fulfill the institutional goals, reflecting the spirit of service that is the hallmark of a robust and responsive judiciary.

Further, the total budget allocated for the fiscal year 2023 amounted to Nu 37,314,540.62, reflecting the government’s commitment to ensuring the accessibility and effectiveness of the legal system.

Breaking down the budget, a substantial portion, amounting to Nu 298.351M has been designated for capital expenditure, primarily funding infrastructure projects to improve access to justice for all citizens. Additionally, Nu 87.652M has been allocated for current expenses, covering operational costs necessary for the day-to-day functioning of the courts and legal proceedings throughout the year.

The report exclaims that the combined capital and current expenditures emphasize the judiciary’s commitment to modernization and efficiency in delivering legal services to the people of Bhutan. “This budget announcement gives emphasis to the government’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the judicial system and uphold the rule of law, ensuring that justice remains accessible and equitable for all citizens in the year ahead,” it stated.

By Sangay Rabten, Thimphu