Verdict: The High Court on February 9 sentenced a cop to life imprisonment for murdering his wife after a quarrel in 2016.
A medical investigation revealed that the convict had stabbed his wife 28 times with a dagger.
On May 5 last year, the deceased had fled their home in Jaigaon, India to her friend’s house located in the police colony in Phuentsholing.
Her husband, Sonam, discovered that she had left home and followed her after learning from the guards at the border security gate that she had entered Phuentsholing.
He met the deceased with a friend, Phurpa Dolma at the colony. They entered the friend’s home upon which the couple started quarrelling, which quickly escalated.
In between the convict took out a dagger from a bag he was carrying and stabbed her. When the friend tried to intervene, he pushed her away and latched the door from inside.
The deceased was rushed to the Phuentsholing dzongkhag hospital where she succumbed to her wounds within hours.
The convict surrendered to police immediately after the incident.
Witness Phurpa Dolma in her statement to the court said that the deceased had told her that she was often physically abused by the husband who was prone to jealousy. Phurpa Dolma submitted to the court that she had seen marks of physical abuse on the deceased’s face.
The police investigation team also recovered a medical prescription from the Sarpang dzongkhag hospital for a swollen right shoulder indicating that she had suffered physical abuse before.
The Phuentsholing dungkhag court sentenced the man to life imprisonment which the Chukha dzongkhag court reduced to 15 years.
The deceased’s mother appealed to the dzongkhag court to reduce the prison term as it could jeopardise the lives of the couple’s five children. The children live with their maternal grandmother in a rented apartment in Wangsisina. Further, the government would incur heavy expenditure in supporting him in prison.
The High Court partially reversed the Chukha dzongkhag court’s verdict and upheld the verdict of the dungkhag court.
The High Court justices Lungten Drubgyur and Tshering Namgyal stated that the convict had taken a dagger in his bag and followed the victim and stabbed her. As per the Penal Code’s sections 49, 54, 55, and 56 the convict committed the crime purposely, knowingly, and recklessly with the intention to kill.
Section 54 states: “A defendant acts purposely with respect to a material element of an offence, when the element involves the nature of the defendant’s conduct or a result thereof and it is the defendant’s conscious objective to engage in a conduct of that nature or to cause the result of the conduct.”