Thimphu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Supreme Court building in Thimphu on Sunday evening. Present at the inauguration were several dignitaries of the Bhutanese government, lawyers, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh.
During the simple inauguration holy hymns were chanted and alcohol and buttermilk were offered to deities. PM Modi participated in the ceremony by touching the holy urn and flag.
The Court was established on February 21, 2010 by the Bhutanese King and comprises of five benches known as Singha Asana (lion throne or bench), Gaja Asana (elephant throne or bench), Aswa Asana (Horse Throne or Bench), Mayura Asana (peacock throne or bench) and Garuda Asana (Garuda Throne or Bench).
The Supreme Court building was constructed with Indian aid. The concept and design of the Supreme Court of Bhutan is drawn from Bhutanese history, mythology and tradition.
Speaking on the occasion the Chief Justice of Bhutan Sonam Tobgye said, "The sacred ambience of the Supreme Court building will generate a sense of reverence and remind the Judges of their profound responsibilities within the conscience of the nation."
He also pointed out the unique location of the Supreme Court building being near the spiritual centre of the city.
"The seat of the Judiciary is placed alongside both Trashi Chhodzong which is the seat of the Executive and the Parliament, which is the seat of the Legislature. These great structures are spaced apart representing the independence of the respective institutions and yet they are within the sight of each other, symbolizing the importance of checks and balances and demonstrating the need for vigilance and transparency," said Tobgye.
Speaking about India`s role in building the Supreme Court building, the Chief Justice said, "We stand before yet another grand testimony of the friendship between Bhutan and India, a friendship that is rooted in an illustrious past build by our enlightened forefathers and even today entrenched in the minds of our leaders and our people. The grandeur of the Supreme Court building symbolizes the generosity and enduring support of the government of India."
Speaking about student studying in law colleges across India, the Bhutanese Supreme Court Chief Justice said, "Many Bhutanese students are graduating from the best legal institutions in India. We, in Bhutan and particularly those of us who serve in the judiciary, undertake to pledge that India`s generosity and goodwill will not go in vain."