Staff Reporter 

Trongsa dzongkhag court sentenced a drayang owner in Trongsa town to a year and six months in prison for employing a minor as a dancer in the drayang.

Tshering Dorji, 37, from Kuengarabten was found guilty of section 221 of the  Penal Code of Bhutan, which states, “A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of a child abuse if the defendant subjects a child to an economic exploitation or any job that is likely to be hazardous.”

The crime is graded a misdemeanour and he could pay thrimthue in lieu of imprisonment.

The case surfaced after the kidu officer of Trongsa was detained for an alleged rape of the minor, which is still pending in the court waiting for DNA report.

The judgment stated that the entertainment committee of Trongsa dzongkhag failed to uphold the law by re-issuing the licence to the drayang owner although three crimes were reported in the same drayang.

After the alleged rape case in the drayang by the kidu officer, the drayang owner was charged for employing a minor. Then there was a stabbing case amongst two female employees.

According to the judgment, the drayang licence was suspended once after the rape allegation but later the dzongkhag entertainment committee lifted the suspension. After the case of employing the minor surfaced, the committee suspended the licence. They met again and decided to allow it to operate.

Then the stabbing occurred and the committee suspended the license again. It stated that Tshering Dorji then filed the case against the committee to the dzongkhag court but the court dismissed the case.

The drayang operator then acquired a new licence in the name of his wife and operated the drayang.

The court also asked the Office of the Attorney General and dzongkhag entertainment committee to report to the court on action taken against the drayang based on BICMA Act and entertainment rules 2018.