Phuentsholing drungkhag court ordered a man from Chukha village of Lamgong gewog in Paro to pay Nu 300,000 to the government for illegally leasing his business license to a Jaigaon resident.

Ugyen Tshering, 46, was found guilty of leasing his business license, Norzang Trading, in Phuentsholing to an Indian citizen, Raj Kumar Agarwal, from 2012 to 2015 and taking a lease fee of Nu 290,000.

The court also cancelled the business license.

He was also imposed a fine of Nu 10,000 for violating the general guidelines for industrial and commercial ventures in Bhutan 1997, which prohibits him from leasing his license.

The judgment stated that Ugyen Tshering violated section 6.1 (a, b) of and section 3 of the rules and regulations for establishment and operation of industrial and commercial ventures in Bhutan 1995. The provisions of the guidelines mandate the licensee to run the business and restrict the licensee from leasing it to another person in any form or manner.

The April 13 judgment ordered the restitution of Nu 1.4 million (M) to the government, which the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) recovered from the three bank accounts of Ugyen Tshering, operated by Raj Kumar Agarwal and from auctioning the goods.

It stated that Raj Kumar Agarwal refused to appear before the court despite sending him repeated summon orders. The court had to pass the judgment in absentia. 

The judgment stated that the defendant had imported goods worth more than Nu 105M and operated three accounts that Ugyen Tshering maintained with the Bank of Bhutan (BoB), Bhutan National Bank (BNB) and Druk Punjab Bank (DNP). 

It ruled that because of such malpractice, it affected economic security and trade balance, as Raj Kumar Agarwal imported the goods when the country was reeling under Rupee crisis.

“Such practices also affected policies of creating employment opportunities and becoming self-reliant,” the judgment stated.

Tashi Dema