Thimphu dzongkhag court’s criminal bench I on June 4 sentenced a 27-year-old man to five years in prison for drug trafficking.

Dilip Kumar Gurung from Norbuzingkha village, Dagana was arrested at the Lungtenzampa bus terminal in Thimphu with 241 capsules of Spasmo Proxyvon plus (SP+) on December 8, 2017.

He was charged with third degree felony for violating the Narcotic Drugs Psychotropic Substance and Substance Abuse Act 2015.

Dilip Kumar Gurung admitted in court that the controlled substances were found in his possession. However, he said that the controlled substances were bought from Jaigaon at the behest of his friend Sonam Tenzin.

He told the court that he bought the drugs worth Nu 2,800 from a drug store in Jaigaon, India and reached the bus terminal that day but before he could hand over the goods, police arrested him.

“I bought it for my friend, I had never taken drugs or sold to any person,” he said.

The judgment stated that no matter what others might say, it is up to the individual to comply or not and the person who obliges the request to procure the controlled substance is liable for penalty.

The court ruled that he had violated the NDPSSAA section 139 (b). The section states that a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of Illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances if he or she possesses, imports, exports, stores, sells, purchases, transports, distributes, or supplies any substance under Schedules III and IV of this Act regardless of the degree of purity.

A person according to the NDPSSAA 2017 would be allowed to carry 10 pieces in case of tablets and capsules of narcotic drugs having medicinal value provided the person has a prescription from a certified medical practitioner.

The permissible quantity for psychotropic substances having medicinal value is 15 pieces in case of tablets and capsules for a person prescribed by a doctor.

The court judgment ruled that the convict had confessed to the crime in accordance with section 84 and 85 of the Evidence Act of Bhutan voluntarily, independently or under any undue influence.

Since Dilip Kumar Gurung was detained in police custody for a month and 17 days before he was granted bail, he has to serve four years and 10 months in prison.

The court order states that the police and the OAG should jointly handover the confiscated illegal drugs to the relevant agency and to report it to the court.

Tshering Palden