The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) charged former Chang Gup Naku, two land record officials, and two others for fraud, forgery, and collusion in the sale of 50 decimal government land in Babesa in 2000 at the Thimphu dzongkhag court yesterday.

Between 1999 to 2000, Gup Naku had allegedly colluded with two former employees of Department of Survey and Land Record (DSLR) Pema Wangdi and Kezang Tenzin in fraudulently selling 50 decimal government land near Barb Lhakhang to Dil Maya Sharma.

Gup Naku is alleged of arranging with Yangchen Dema to sell the apple orchard registered with her mother by manipulating the plot size to 55 decimal. During the new sathram (land registration certificate) compilation in 2000, Pema Wangdi and Kelzang Tenzin had allegedly tampered the chazhag thram (main document) record with DSLR and falsified a field form (kappa) in altering the original plot size from five to 55 decimal.

In August 2000, an agreement was drawn between late Sonam Choden and Dil Maya Sharma purporting that Sonam Choden is transferring 55 decimal apple orchard to Dil Maya Sharma as a gift in recognition for Dil Maya Sharma taking care of Yangchen Dema’s daughter in school.

In December that year, the Thimphu dzongkhag court passed the judgment clearing the transfer of land to Dil Maya Sharma.

As part of the procedure, Gup Naku had certified to court that late Sonam Choden had 55 decimal apple orchard with thram number 300.

However, the irregularity in the size of the land was discovered by the DSLR when the court judgement was sent to the home ministry for making necessary updates in the main land record.

Accordingly, it was rectified in 2001 that thram 300 of late Sonam Choden had only five decimal and not 55 as transacted between the parties.

As per the 1967 chazhag thram or the main national land records, Sonam Choden the late mother of Yangchen Dema owned an apple orchard of five decimals near the Barp Lhakhang in Thimphu.

OAG filed two counts of charges against Yangchen Dema. She faces deception charges for having allegedly colluding with Gup Naku and signing an agreement and application documents.

Lobzang Gonpo had signed as Sonam Choden’s guarantor in the agreement drawn between her and Dil Maya Sharma and the land transfer application form.

Pema Wangdi, who was the team leader of the survey team surveying the land in Chang gewog, had allegedly tampered the forms, measured and included 50 decimal extra in the thram. He is charged for encroachment of government land under the Land Act 1979. He is also charged with forgery under the Thrimzhung Chenmo 1953.

The then land record assistant, Kezang Tenzin is charged with forgery and tampering official record, Chazhag thram and to make it appear that late Sonam Choden had 55 decimals.

The former Chang Gup, Naku is charged for encroachment of government land and forgery of internal agreement between late Sonam Choden and Dil Maya Sharma.

This is one among four cases that the OAG has filed against the former Chang gup for illegal land transactions.

Tshering Palden