Upholds lower court’s judgment 

Thinley Namgay 

High Court (HC) on August 7 upheld the judgment of Pemagatshel Dzongkhag Court and sentenced the Officer Commanding (OC) of Nganglam Police Station, Jamyang Dorji, to six months in prison for sexual harassment of a female police constable. 

However, the officer can pay thrimthue of Nu 22,500 in lieu of the imprisonment term, which he already paid in the Nganglam Drungkhag Court.  

There is a question on whether the OC can be reinstated by police after the conviction. On this note, RBP refused to comment on their decision stating that the case will continue if the OC appeals to the Supreme Court (SC).  However, SC’s official said the RBP has the authority to finalise this as per the police act. 

Dissatisfied with the ruling of the dzongkhag court, the OC appealed to the HC. Police prosecuted the case.

OC Jamyang Dorji submitted to the HC that all his points were rejected by the lower courts and there was no justice for him.   

He said that both investigation and chargesheet were carried out by the police and were not done appropriately. “The lower courts didn’t look into these issues.”  

According to OC, the investigation team of police was unable to differentiate between criminal investigation and administrative investigation.  

The OC added that messages between him and the victim are based on mutual consensus, and the voice message recorded by the victim is due to pre-mediated intention. He said the victim should have immediately reported to the authority if his conduct is not appropriate instead of waiting for six months.  

 He also asked the HC to revoke the oral evidence of 12 witnesses presented by the prosecutor but the court denied it. He questioned the authenticity of the evidences of witnesses.  

The sexual harassment case came into the limelight last year after an anonymous person alleged OC on social media for sexually harassing the female constable. The person wrote an open letter to the Chief of Police seeking justice for the female police constable.

The OC was accused of inappropriate touching and sharing of lewd photos with the victim who was a newly recruited constable. 

The police formed a committee and investigated the case. The committee found a certain ingredient of criminality based on the victim’s statement to the committee.