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9-year sentence stands

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High Court upholds district court verdict on farmer, who impregnated minor

The High Court has upheld the lower court’s judgment, which sentenced in February this year a 20-year-old farmer to nine years in prison for impregnating a 16-year-old girl last year in Pamtsho, Thimphu.

The court’s bench II ruled that the lower court had sentenced Tshering Dorji in accordance with the provisions of civil and criminal procedure code and the penal code.

Tshering Dorji from Pasakha village in Wangdue district was charged for raping the minor from Trashigang.

Tshering Dorji had appealed on the grounds that the sex was consensual.  He also said that he would be able to pay alimony only after his release, as his parents were too poor to pay on his behalf.  Therefore he appealed the sentence be lowered.

As per the lower court’s verdict, although Tshering Dorji had not raped the girl, section 183 of the penal code says a defendant is guilty of rape, if there is sexual intercourse with a minor between the ages of 12 to 18 years.

Section 184 classifies rape of minor above 12 years as felony of the second degree, and the sentence is a minimum of nine years and maximum of 15 years.

The lower court verdict stated that, following   “mutual” sex last year, the girl had gone home to her village to attend to her mother, who was unwell.

When she returned, Tshering Dorji was nowhere to be seen.  She had tried calling him but to no avail.  Later, she gave birth to a son at national referral hospital in his absence.

Tshering Dorji was apprehended on December 18 last year and the victim, through Office of the Attorney General, filed a case against him.

Besides the sentence, Tshering Dorji will also have to pay Nu 600 a month as alimony for the child.  He was also asked to pay Nu 30,000 for being unable to help her during delivery.

By Tashi Phuntsho

8 Comments to “9-year sentence stands”
  1. luckygal | April 13th, 2013 at 01:40:36

    Where is NCWC…and WCPU? Has they done their job or they relied on the facts of whatever the victim’s parents have given to them…are they not reliable to face criminal charges especially the parents and the relatives who were aware of the relationship the couple were having under their nose? why didn’t they report if they thought it was illegal? Has the court and the prosecuting agency looked in this aspects?

    The victim ( mother of the child ) wanted to forgive her son’s father
    ‘s mistake since she knew it all happened with their innocence and sheer love and wanted to be together as wife and husband and lead their life peacefully..but she was denied for her simple mistake of lodging the complaint which she never thought would result into this bizarre.
    Tshering u have still opportunity to appeal to Supreme court…let justice prevail..all the best

  2. Rixey | April 12th, 2013 at 21:50:11

    Points need to be noted by the concern heads for the punishment given to poor guy. I personally feels that the laws at this point doesn’t looks very logical in our system. Hope, its for good cause.
    Any ways, how is about the similar case about one of the Police Major raping his maid in Gelephu???
    We wants to hear more about it with good conclusion. Please media, traceout the real stories and give in public forums for the benefit of all the people of Bhutan.

  3. motey | April 12th, 2013 at 20:54:37

    Tshering Dorji had appealed on the grounds that the sex was consensual…………..

    As per the lower court’s verdict, although Tshering Dorji had not raped the girl, section 183 of the penal code says a defendant is guilty of rape, if there is sexual intercourse with a minor between the ages of 12 to 18 years.

    If this is the case than many people would land up in prison.The girls working in many drayangs in Thimphu are below 18 and they lure customers for money and in return engage having sex ???????????????

  4. druk gi bum | April 12th, 2013 at 11:47:23

    here full justice is given to a girl. i appreciate that. but where is the justice for a poor boy and his family. do something for a boy also coz reading the article, i dont think the boy is really a criminal

    PALDEN DRUKPA GYALO

  5. luckygal | April 11th, 2013 at 21:19:17

    In this case they are not victim and accused..they were wife and husband. they were married and their parents, brother and so called adopted father also knew their relationship. why they didn’t report it that time. are they also not to be punished for not reporting the matter if they think it is crime..why OAG and court not bringing these facts. i believe there also a provision in the penal code to punish if people fail to report a crime. Does OAG and court think the parents and relatives were innocent? Is this the kind of judgement our courts give to poor people like Tshering who didn’t have the means to afford his defense lawyer. The section 183 of PCB is understandable but has the court considered into the age factor of the accused too. the accused has just entered into major age group. i believe when they had the sex both of them must be minor.
    Now questions remain to be answered who is going to pay the compensation and alimony since his parents are farmer who lives in the village with hand to mouth income.
    Will court enhance his sentence in lieu of the compensation and alimony?
    will court auction his parents property to pay the compensation and alimony.
    Has court ever thought of the child’s welfare after sending his father to prison just because his father failed to attend his birth?
    So many more questions ..
    let justice prevail on him.

  6. optimistic | April 11th, 2013 at 17:25:46

    Exactly, unrealistic and inhuman bias law (womenized). Where is gender equity? While sex was in consensus, only men gets the punishment. The girl also should be responsible as she is aware of her age to agree and allow or not to use her.
    Such laws need immediate attention. I strongly support the above posts.

  7. The Justice | April 11th, 2013 at 16:51:28

    Its high time Court to look for wider interpretation of law and court needs to consider other related provision of the law while disposing the judgement. While dealing with rape issue, it must be read with the definition section provided therein the Penal Code of Bhutan else what is the purpose of the same section. The corresponding provision are to be used only when some minor is genuinely raped and else it should not come into play every time there is some issue related to sex with minor.

  8. logical | April 11th, 2013 at 14:28:53

    Why should the matrimonial issues of consent that did not harm any individual or was not complained against by affected parties be the pet of courts that express delights just to sentence the male member with long prison terms as offender? In this case, the man seemed to run away from responsibility and should be sentence for that instead of separating him from his wife and young child. Laws that do not light logic just cause offences!

    Who will now look after the baby when he needs the father most after he is sent to prison? How can the man just pay 600 per month when he is sent to serve the sentence? Do we have NUTS handling the legal order of the nation? Is it a portend of internal failure in our legal system? Where is this rule adopted from in Bhutan setting age limit for marriage when delivery could take place indicating the case being naturally qualifying?

    If persons below 18 are called minors that cannot have any will, why have we some persons serving life sentences from as early as 17 years of their age? We need a change rationalizing the things that common man can understand and follow. Why should the laws and codes remain as the prized booty in the custody of the party of tyrants!!

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