There have been seven cases of homicide in the country since January this year according to records with the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP). Three were registered as murder, one as voluntary manslaughter and two as involuntary manslaughter.
According to the Penal Code, murder is when a homicide is committed knowingly and deliberately. Voluntary manslaughter is when a homicide is committed with an intention to kill but without premeditated malice, occasioned by some great provocation, or vicious intent to cause serious bodily injury that causes death.
The offence of involuntary manslaughter is generally understood as conduct that leads to the death of the victim from a reckless act committed under the immediate influence of extreme mental or emotional distress.
RBP’s colonel Dorji Wangchuk, said that homicide cases varies every year, which makes it difficult to say if there is a trend.
For example in 2004 the registered cases were five while it had gone down to two in 2006. Likewise he said that, in 2016, the registered cases on homicide is six (including attempted to murder) while in 2017, in three months time, the total cases registered were seven.
“The main causes of such crime are alcohol, drugs and enmity,” said the colonel adding that the RBP is working on enhancing patrol, enforcing mobile patrolling, crack down on drugs and creating awareness on the legal provisions.”
Meanwhile, section 139 of PCB 2004 states that the offence of murder shall be a felony of the first degree while section 141 states that, the offence of voluntary manslaughter shall be a felony of the second degree.
In addition, section 143 of PCB 2004 states that, the offence of involuntary manslaughter shall be a felony of the fourth degree.