Chencho Dema

Punakha – A 27-year old man was arrested on 6 December 2023 in Punakha for marrying a girl in 2019 who was found to be a minor then.

The couple has two children, a three-years-old, while the younger is only seven-months-old.

According to the sources, the husband had gone missing for some months and did return home or contact the wife, so the wife had come to seek support from the Pema Secretariat assuming the husband had abandoned them.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that the wife had been a minor when she got married in 2019. Accordingly, the Punakha police were notified, and the husband was arrested.

The husband, a farmer by occupation, if convicted will be charged under Section 184 of the Penal Code (Amendment) Act of Bhutan 2011.

The section states that the offence of rape of a child above the age of twelve years shall be a felony of the second degree. If found guilty of a second-degree crime, the defendant faces a minimum penalty of nine years in prison and a maximum sentence of less than fifteen years.