Court rules out offence of child abandonment

The verdict on the case of child abandonment of a two-year old toddler, who was brought earlier to Woman and Child Protection Unit (WCPU) of Thimphu police station on April 4 with swollen forehead, wound on tip of his nose, and rash all over his body part with both his eyes swollen, is out.

The toddler was abandoned by his mother and she was detained accordingly. However, Thimphu District Court has pronounced its verdict, stating that Karma Lhamo, 25, is not guilty of abandoning her two¬year-old son. The judgment was announced last week.

The Drangpon, Bench 3, said the reason for ruling out the offence of child abandonment was that there was no evidence to prove that she had indeed abandoned her child, but she was charged of child negligence. She was charged with a month’s sentence, however, she had served two months and 23 days in the detention, due to which she was released.

She was detained on April 22 till July 15.

A man named Dawa Tshering had reported to the police about a child being abandoned by his mother Karma Lhamo on April 3 this year in Dechencholing, Thimphu.

Karma Lhamo had denied the allegations and said she had not abandoned her child, and had instead asked Dawa Tshering whom she knew very well to take care of the child.

Police were unable to produce Dawa Tshering before court to testify as witness, and owing to which the case of child abandonment was dismissed. She has also agreed to take back the baby under her care.

The two-year-old was cared for by the police for a while, and later on April 8, a lady working in a private firm had volunteered to take care of the child until the mother turned up to claim the baby.

The WCPU of Thimphu police station has sent the two-year-old toddler to RENEW after the 25-year-old mother had failed to return back to police station with an eyewitness.

Upon asking about the baby, the court officials said that there was nothing mentioned about the baby in the charge sheet, and therefore, there is nothing they can do.

It is learnt that Karma Lhamo is a habitual drinker. She did not have enough money to avail a bail out during her stay in the detention cell.

Karma Lhamo is from Samcholing village in Trongsa and has two younger brothers who are still undergoing training in Thimphu. It was also learnt that she had run away from her mother’s house in Chhukha since she was not getting along with her grandfather.

Her grandmother is also not in position to look after the baby since she has to go for work.

Meanwhile, the future of the toddler is unknown, as it is uncertain if the mother will take him back or if the concerned authorities can find the toddler a home.

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