Lhakpa Quendren

In a recent development at the Zhemgang Dzongkhag Court, a ruling has been passed that metes out a three-month prison term for Sangay Norbu, a 22-year-old warden of Zhemgang Central School. 

The conviction stems from a battery incident that took place on June 12, which resulted in injuries to a Class VIII student, Jigdrel Wangchuk.

The court’s judgment, announced yesterday, found Sangay Norbu culpable for his aggressive actions towards Jigdrel Wangchuk, during which he forcefully slapped the student on both the cheeks and nose, causing profuse bleeding. 

Additionally, the warden resorted to using a pipe to strike the student’s back.

The court’s examination was based on an investigation carried out by Zhemgang police, who scrutinised medical reports and gathered statements from both the victim and eyewitnesses. 

As a consequence of these findings, charges were brought against Sangay Norbu in alignment with Bhutan’s civil and criminal procedure code, as well as the Penal Code of Bhutan.

Notably, in an unusual turn of events, the victim’s compensation had already been settled through a mutual agreement between the parties involved. As a result, the court did not mandate separate compensation from the convicted warden.

Under Bhutanese law, Sangay Norbu has the option to pay thrimthue, an alternative to serving his three-month prison sentence. 

Moreover, should he disagree to the court’s verdict, he retains the right to appeal to a higher court within a ten-day window from the date of the judgment.

The case, which initially appeared to have been amicably resolved without reporting to the police, came to the attention of the authorities after the Pema Secretariat in Thimphu intervened, leading to a formal investigation and subsequent court proceedings.

As the Zhemgang community awaits the implementation of the court’s verdict, questions surrounding the incident’s impact on the Zhemgang Central School and the measures being taken to prevent such occurrences in the future linger.