… ruling woman’s false information was for the welfare of the child

Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Mongar dzongkhag court acquitted two women, a mother of a newborn and her neighbour, who took the child to the hospital claiming she found the newborn.

Police in Mongar charged the 45-year-old neighbour, who is a civil servant, last month for providing false information after she took the infant to Mongar hospital claiming she found the infant abandoned in Changshingpek.

Police investigation found the woman took the infant from a 29-year-old woman, who is her neighbour.

In the 26-paged judgment passed on July 13, the court stated that the civil servant provided false information to authorities to protect her neighbour, who is already a mother of four, as the child is born out of wedlock from an illicit relationship.

According to the judgement, the newborn’s mother wanted the civil servant to take the child as her husband is not aware of her pregnancy and requested her to lie to authorities that the baby was abandoned.

The newborn had to be taken to the hospital because of some respiratory problems.

The civil servant pleaded before the court that she took the child from her neighbour as the mother was in emotional distress and has many problems at home.    

“The woman’s false information was provided in good faith for the welfare of the infant,” the court ruled. “It was to protect the baby and prevent greater harm.”

The court also stated that the civil servant’s act was considered a defense of jurisdiction.

Similarly, the court also acquitted the newborn’s mother, ruling that although her conduct was ethically and morally wrong, her action could not qualify as culpability as she made her neighbour provide false information to authorities because of stress and not purposely, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently.

The mother told the court she would take care of the child herself.

Meanwhile, the court also ordered the father of the newborn to pay child alimony and compensation through a separate civil case.