Chairman of the Samtse Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT), Nima Dukpa, has decided to appeal in Samtse district court against a judgment of Sipsu drungkhag court that handed him a prison term of one month for playing cards.

Along with Nima Dukpa, who is Tendu gewog’s gup, the court on July 18 also sentenced five defendants for two months in prison for gambling at a picnic on the New Year eve on December 31, 2017.

The picnic was organised at Kaching ECCD centre in Tendu.

The offence is criminal but the defendants can pay thrimthue. The defendants were convicted as per Section 393 and 394 of Penal Code of Bhutan for petty misdemeanour.

Nima Dukpa feels that it was too harsh on part of the court to hand a judgment it did for playing cards. “The judgment is of a criminal offence,” he said.

The police report, he said, showed that he had played without a monetary stake while each of the five defendants had put Nu 500 stake. The defendants he said are his maternal uncles.

He said the complaint was lodged by the gewog’s former gup, Pema Wangchuk, who is his nephew.

Complainant Pema Wangchuk had submitted a written complaint on March 2 this year with a video clip as evidence.

Section 31 of the local government Act states that a member of a local government shall be removed if he is convicted for a criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment.

The gup said he was not told if he had to resign.

MB Subba