High Court acquits two, convicts three in DeSuung case

Of the four-desuung cases that were appealed to the larger bench of the High Court, the judgment for two were completely reversed and the defendants acquitted.

The larger bench of the High Court found Major Ugyen Lhendrup guilty of embezzling Nu 396,368 in separate desuung training programmes and sentenced him to a concurrent sentence of a year and 10 months in prison.

He was ordered to restitute the amount within a month from the date of the judgment.

He was the administrative officer of the eighth and 20th batches of the DeSuung training programme.

Major Ugyen Lhendrup admitted to adjusting Nu 233,876 for numerous purposes including those that were not admissible under financial rules but was a norm during the training programme. The court after deducting the worth of the balance stock, tax deducted at source, and other expenses, found that he had embezzled Nu 124,410 from the training programme in 2013. He was sentenced to a year and four months in prison for the crime.

During the training of the 20th batch, he was charged of embezzling Nu 406,355, however, he admitted to adjusting Nu 414,994. The court as per the evidence submitted by the Anti-Corruption Commission made deductions of Nu 143,036 and convicted him of embezzling Nu 271,958. The court sentenced him to a year and 10 months in prison.

In another case, the larger bench issued a concurrent sentence to Major Kinga Norbu and his assistant Peljab Wangchuk to a year and 20 days in prison for embezzlement of public funds during the conduct of Pel Dechok Khorloi Dompai Wang in the winter of 2012 and the 18th batch DeSuung training programme at the Tencholing military training centre in January 2016.

Each of them has to restitute Nu 76,974 to the government within three months from the date of the judgment.

The judgment stated that the defendant admitted to adjusting Nu 105,000 from the Pel Dechok Khorloi Dompai Wang presided over by the Je Khenpo at Punakha. After deducting the tax deducted at source (TDS) worth Nu 23,461, the court found them guilty of embezzling Nu 81,538.

The two officials admitted to adjusting Nu 200,000 during the 18thbatch DeSuung training programme. After deducting the TDS amounting to Nu 42,410 and stock return of Nu 18,500, the court held them guilty of embezzling Nu 139,089.

The Tencholing military training centre commandant’s letter to the Anti-Corruption Commission stated that for every training programme, the organiser spent Nu 34,180 on soelra and beer. Therefore, the court allowed deduction of Nu 66,680 (Nu 34,180 for soelra and Nu 32,500 for serving the restricted items).

The court judgment delivered last week stated that the two officials could not produce evidence of adjustments and that they had not sought permission from the authority to make the adjustments.

The court sentenced the two to a year in prison each for execution of document by deception, and four months and 15 days for solicitation.

While the total sentence came to two years, five months and five days in prison, the court gave them a concurrent sentence of a year and 20 days in prison after deducting the 10 days the two remained in custody.

All three defendants can pay in lieu of their prison sentences.

The larger bench reversed the judgment of the court’s Bench II for Major Sonam Tshering and Major Tshering Tobgay of the charges of embezzlement and acquitted them.

The larger bench ordered that since the shopkeepers involved had not appealed against the decision of the military court, the court’s judgment has to be enforced.

Tshering Palden 

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