Introduction of Dittha

Dittha was the Chief Judicial Officer of the Kingdom of Gorkha during the reign of Prithvi Narayan Shah. They were responsible for overseeing the Judicial Administration of the Courts of Gorkha. Unlike the Dharmadhikara, they were non-Religious.

Dittha held the position of departmental head of the Gorkha judiciary. Therefore, they ranked second only to the monarch and Dharmadhikara in the Judicial Hierarchy.

The Duties of Dittha in Gorkha included providing the final verdict for cases registered in the Royal Palace, managing administrative affairs, overseeing the hiring and management of police, and running the affairs of the offices and tribunals they headed.

In the Dibya Upadesh, Prithvi Narayan Shah has recommened that Thakuri’s should be designated and appointed to the post of Dittha because of their Fairness and Loyalty.

Functions of Dittha

The Functions of Dittha in the Kingdom of Gorkha were exponential in the Judicial Administration of Gorkha. In Fact, they were the Departmental Head of the Judiciary of Gorkha just subordinated to the King and Dharmadhikara.

Later, during the Reign of Jung Bahadur, they were made the Head of the District Courts of Nepal.

Final Verdict to Decisions

They were responsible for providing the Final verdict to cases registered in the Royal Palace. Before arriving at a decision, they had to discuss the matters of these Cases with Dharmadhikara and sometimes even the King. After the discussion, they provided the Final Verdict for those Cases.

Administrative Responsibilities

Ditthas were privileged to look after the Whole Administrative System of a specific court or Legal Tribunals. It is said that the Kotling Tribunal also housed one of the Ditthas after the Unification of Nepal. They were sent to specific Regions as per their need and relevance.

In the Kingdom of Gorkha, they were limited in number and not exceeding 2 or 3 of them. As Dharmadhikari could have been quite busy, there was the need to have a Chief Administrator of a Judicial Body to guarantee easy access and dispersion of Justice.

As Ditthas headed various Courts and Other Judicial Tribunals, they had to run the administrative Affairs of the Offices and Tribunals they headed. It must have included duties such as Validating the Registration of Cases, managing the records derived from those Court Cases, and ensuring that all cases have been investigated to their Fullest Extent.

After the Unification of Nepal, Ditthas were seated with Dharmadhikara in Kotling and Itachapali Courts that dealt with Civil and Criminal Cases.


Police, Their Hiring, Their Management, and their Overlooking were also among the Duties of Dittha. Interestingly, The Department of Police was under the Judicial Administration and conducted itself as per the demand of the Chief Judicial Administrator.

The Police were necessary to Arrest and Withhold the Accused and make them come to the Court at the required time.

Appointment of Dittha

The appointment of Dittha must have been Hassle’s task because of their importance in the Nepali judicial system. Because of the lack of Important Documents, its unclear on who was appointed for the Role.

It has been mentioned in King Prithvi Narayan Shah’s Dibya Upadesh that Thakuri must be appointed to this position. Though it’s unclear what exactly Thakuri needed for this job, it’s claimed that they were the most qualified candidates since they were often sincere and enthusiastic.


Dittha was the Chief Judicial Officer in the Judicial Administration of Gorkha ranking below the Dharmadhikara and the King in the Judicial Hierarchy. Their Duties are:

  1. Providing final verdicts on cases registered in the royal palace
  2. Overseeing the administrative affairs of courts and legal tribunals
  3. Managing police departments etc.


Pokhrel, A. (2023). Dittha – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/gorkha/dittha/