The criminal bench of Thimphu dzongkhag court deferred the case involving a woman, 58, who was alleged for involuntary manslaughter after her four-year-old grandson was found dead by the Thimpchu riverbank near Terma Linca Resort last year.

The verdict given yesterday stated that the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) charged the woman from Samkhar in Trashigang for involuntary manslaughter after she took her grandson and went to commit suicide, assuming her daughter and son-in-law mistreated them on April 27 last year. “The boy was washed off by the river.”

The judgment stated that the case was deferred in accordance to section 156 of the Civil and Criminal Procedure Code of Bhutan (CCPC), which states, “Upon a finding of circumstantial evidence not amounting to proof beyond reasonable doubt, the case may be deferred.”

It also stated that medical report provided by the National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) stated that the woman was mentally unstable. 

The court cited section 53 and 119 of the Penal Code of Bhutan for its reason to defer the case. The Section states that a defendant shall not be guilty of an offence unless the defendant acted purposely, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently as the laws may require with respect to each quintessential element of the offence.

Section 119 of the Penal Code of Bhutan states, “A defendant shall have the defence of mental disability if, at the time of the conduct, on account of a mental disability, the defendant lacked substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of the defendant’s conduct or to conform the conduct to the and requirement of the law.”

The judgment stated that the woman’s representative, Chimi Dorji, requested the court to withdraw the case and declare her innocent, as she is mentally unsound and that she was diagnosed as a psychotic patient in 2013. 

The representative also argued that she was prescribed with psychotic medication and attempted suicide many times. 

The medical report from the hospital stated that the woman insisted not remembering anything about the incident. “She also denied having suicidal thought or intent on that day. However, she appears perplexed most of the days and was not in a position to clearly state her opinion while being interviewed.”

The judgment also stated that the child’s mother gave written statement that she had no complaints against her mother and that she believes her mother did not intend to kill her son. “She might have done it in the state of mental illness.” 

It also stated that the woman was handed over to son and sister.

Tashi Dema