KP Sharma

Lamoidzingkha Drungkhag Court in Dagana has sentenced 30-year-old teacher Samir Rai from Lamoidzingkha Middle Secondary School to three months in prison in a child battery case.

However, he has the option to pay thrimthue, a monetary penalty, in lieu of serving his prison term.

Rai was charged under Section 215 of the Child Care and Protection Act of Bhutan 2011, which stipulates that a person shall be deemed guilty of child battery if they intentionally use physical force or subject a child to physical force.

According to the judgment, the teacher was found guilty of physically assaulting 14 students in Class II on May 1. The incident occurred when the students were found outside the classroom, causing a disturbance upon the teacher’s arrival.

The judgment further stated that out of the 14 students involved, only one student’s parents came forward to file a complaint.

During the court proceedings, the teacher admitted to the charges and argued that he had resorted to physical discipline for disciplinary reasons, rather than harbouring ill-will towards the students or their parents. He claimed to have used a small stick that did not cause severe injuries or cuts.

However, the court deemed the offence a petty misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment ranging from one month to less than a year.

The judgment also stated that the guilty would not be required to cover the medical expenses incurred by the parents during their visit to the hospital, as the victim’s parents declined to accept any compensation.

The guilty has the right to appeal the court’s decision to higher courts within the next 10 days.