Second gup from the gewog to be sentenced in two years

Neten Dorji | Trashiyangtse

Trashiyangtse dzongkhag court has sentenced the Bumdeling gup to three years uncompoundable prison term for forgery last week.

Gup Yeshi Dorji, 42, had availed two separate loans of Nu 500,000 and Nu 700,000 from the Bhutan Development Bank Limited (BDBL) using the lagthram (land ownership certificate) of a farmer in his gewog, Drenga Tshering, without his knowledge after forging documents.

The court judgment delivered on May 6 stated that in 2014, without the knowledge of landowner, the gup had forged the landowner’s signature on the mortgage form and also availed the family’s census details from dzongkhag census office.

It also stated that after forging signatures of six members, he has obtained a land certificate copy from the dzongkhag land record office. “He had received all evidence from dzongkhag administration and availed the loan,” the judgment stated.

He was found guilty of violating section 296 of the Penal Code of Bhutan, which states that a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of forgery, if with the purpose to defraud, deceive or prejudice the right of another person.

The gup had admitted to the court on the forgery charges.

The offence is graded a fourth-degree felony with minimum sentencing of three years to maximum five years in prison.  The court ruled that the defendant should be sentenced for two years, 10 months in prison deducting the period of one month, 29 days he spent in detention.

The court ordered him to deposit Nu 1.5 million in the account of the Office of the Attorney General within six months (May 6 to November 6) and the landowner would get back the lagthram from the bank 10 days after the judgment.

Yeshi Dorji was elected as the new gup after a bye-election in September last year. The gup was the former gewog clerk.

With the gup sentenced to prison, Bumdeling gewog would elect its third gup in five years if a bye-election is conducted. The first Bumdeling gup, who was elected during the Local Government election in 2016, was sent to jail for 12 years for raping a 16-year-old girl on the night of July 3 last year.