Even as the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) conducts the by-election for gup in Chang gewog, Thimphu today after the former gup was convicted in a land grabbing case, the gup was again convicted to four years and seven months in prison for another land grabbing case.

Thimphu dzongkhag court’s bench II convicted former Chang gup Kanjur to prison for forgery, deceptive practice, official misconduct and illegal encroachment of government land by registering 3.72 acres of government land in his mother’s name in Debsi.

The court, on June 14, gave a concurrent judgment of two years to Kanjur and asked him to pay Nu 90,000 in lieu of his prison term.

He was sentenced to one year each for two counts of forgery under the Thrimzhung Chenmo.

The defendant was found guilty of forging original map of 1998 to survey two plots of land, Dzomdrak Choetenjab and Chakazhing, from the community pastureland in Debsi. He was also found guilty of forging the Kapa thram, which is a field document containing details of land holding and total acreage although the survey field report 1988 stated that there were no details to reflect the plots.

The judgment stated that former gup Kanjur was sentenced to a year in prison for deceptive practice as he prepared a no objection letter from the public of Chang gewog by himself stating that there is no objection in measuring the land in the gup’s mother’s name while serving as gup in 2006. He then submitted the letter to the dzongkhag land record office.

He was also sentenced to seven months for illegal land encroachment and a year in prison for official misconduct.

The court also asked Kanjur and his mother to restitute the 3.72 acres of land to the government and provide land substitute to the landowners who bought the government land. The buyers include justices among others.

The court also convicted a former land record officer, Karma Jamtsho, from Jarey in Lhuentse to a year in prison for facilitating Kanjur to process the illegal land registration.

The judgement stated that Karma Jamtsho, as a land record officer, validated that Kanjur’s mother’s plot in Zomdrak Choetenjab was not in Thimphu in 2000 but forwarded the same plot to the then department of survey and land records for plot correction approval in 2006 without referring the previous documents.

The court ordered Karma Jamtsho to pay Nu 45,000 in lieu of his prison term.

Staff reporter