The Paro dzongkhag court passed its verdict on the 44-year old, branch manager of Bank of Bhutan (BoB) in Paro on 11 January.
The BoB branch manager was indicted for multiple charges of embezzlement, forgery, and official misconduct by the Office of Attorney General (OAG).
However for the offence of forgery, based on section 155 and section 32.1 of sub section ‘c ‘, of the civil and criminal procedure code of Bhutan (CCPCB), the charge was dismissed by the court.
Section 155 of the CCPCB, states that a party is prevented by his/her own act from claiming a right to the detriment of other party who was entitled to rely on such conduct and has acted accordingly.
The convict was charged under section 287 (c) which says a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of embezzlement, if the defendant does not remit or deposit a collection of money into the place to which the collection is intended to be remitted or deposited.
The dzongkhag court sentenced him for five months but since he had already served nine days in the detention cell, he just had to pay Nu 14,000 in lieu to imprisonment of four months and 21 days. It was a value-based sentence so he paid the thrimthue (compensation).
As per the amended version of the section 316 of the Penal Code of Bhutan (PCB), the grading of official misconduct is misdemeanor and therefore one year prison term was awarded for the offence.
Since, it was a bailable offence, he had to pay Nu 36,000 in lieu to prison term.
On 9 March, 2010, one client Tashi, met with the branch manager in connection with repayment of loan and had paid him Nu 60,726.51 to clear his loan.
However, the defendant had not deposited it. The amount was instead used for his personal consumption.
Almost for 10 months, the branch manager had not deposited the money. The client was given a receipt which should have been signed by some concerned officials but he had signed the receipt and had given it to the client Tashi.
The incident came to light only when one of the staff members discovered the matter and reported the incident to the management anonymously.
On investigation, it was learnt that the convict had misused the money. Then on 19 December, 2011, the convict was arrested however on 28 December, the convict was released.
The convict worked as a branch manager in the Paro branch of BoB since 2002.
Chencho Dema / Thimphu