The High Court last week dismissed Chukha dzongkhag court’s judgement for a former teacher of Kamji Middle Secondary School and upheld Phuentsholing drungkhag court’s judgment.

Phuentsholing drungkhag court, on November 24, 2016, sent the teacher, Diliram Bajgai, to nine years in prison for rape of minor above 12 years, for raping a student who was then 16 years and six months old.

The drungkhag court ruled that Diliram Bajgai breached the teacher’s code of conduct by having an affair with a student, who is a minor and for raping her on October 17, 2015.

He was found guilty of violating section 184 of the amended Penal Code of Bhutan, 2011. The crime was graded a second-degree felony.

Diliram Bajgai appealed to the Chukha dzongkhag court reasoning that it was consensual and stated that the student told him that she was not a minor.

The dzongkhag court on July 17 last year altered the charges to child molestation reasoning that the medical report, conducted three days after the incident, did not state the victim was raped by force. The court ordered Diliram Bajgai to pay a compensation of Nu 22,000 to the victim.

The Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) prosecutor, Ugyen Zangpo, appealed to the High Court last year.

The court established that the victim confessed about the incident to the school driver and 13 teachers the same day. It also established that the teacher sent messages to the student when he was under Phuentsholing police custody requesting her to alter her statement to police.

Tashi Dema