SC upholds lower court judgment on question paper leak case

The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the appeal of the official of the curriculum research and development department, who was convicted for leaking the 2014 class XII English II paper and ordered the enforcement of the lower court’s judgment.

The Paro dzongkhag court and High Court’s bench II convicted Kuenga Dorji from Lhuentse to two years in prison for official misconduct for leaking the English II paper. He was given a compoundable sentencing and was asked to pay Nu 90,000 in lieu of the prison term.

The official, Kuenga Dorji, was assigned to convert the class 12 question papers into braille for visually impaired students.

The judgment stated that while the conditions of the conversion strictly forbid taking any private instruments such as USB flash drives during the activity, forensic investigating found the question papers in the hard disk of his laptop.

The court asked also him to compensate Nu 1.401 million (M) to the government for the losses incurred as a result of him leaking the paper. Kuenga Dorji has to pay the amount within six months from the date of the judgment.

It stated that the Bhutan Council for School Examination and Assessment (BCSEA) recalled 46 teachers for 12 days to reassess the answer sheets of the leaked paper. The council paid the amount as travel and daily sustenance allowance to the teachers.

The court also ruled that forensic investigation on the official’s laptop showed copies of question papers from 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2013.

It also stated that although Kuenga Dorji had given question papers for English I and II, Dzongkha I and II, and Economics to Dawa Dolma, a class XII student of Yoezerling Higher Secondary School in Paro, investigation found that only the English II question paper had spread widely through other six students.

The leak was detected only when a Drugyel Higher Secondary School student who received the questions the night before the exam reported it to the school authority. The school then informed BCSEA, which conducted an immediate investigation and confirmed the leak.

The results of the students involved were cancelled.

Although Kuenga Dorji contended that he did not share the question paper with Dawa Dolma and that he lost his USB flash drive, Dawa Dolma confessed both verbally and in writing that she got English I and II, Dzongkha I and II and Economics paper from him. “Kuenga Dorji’s wife also called Dawa Dolma after the issue surfaced and asked her to change her statement, saying she got it from the computer herself,” the judgment stated.

Tashi Dema      

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