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DPT’s Khamdang-Ramjar MP convicted with five defendants for illegal border road construction

The Trashiyangtse court on 13 August convicted six defendants, which are Khamdang Ramjar’s Member of Parliament from DPT Kuenga Loday, Mangmi Sangay Tempa, Sangay Thinley, Sangay Wangdi, Karma Tshering and Karma Loday to a prison term ranging from three to five years.

MP Kuenga Loday was charged on 7 grounds for Malicious Mischief, Breach of Public Order and Tranquility, Violation of Road Act, 2013, Hindering Prosecution, Violation of Environment Assessment Act, Violation of Land Act 2007 and for official misconduct.

He was sentenced to five years in prison.

However, the court acquitted Kuenga Loday for Violation of Land Act 2007 and for the charge of official misconduct.

Khamdang’s Mangmi Sangay Tempa was charged on six grounds for Malicious Mischief, Breach of Public Order and Tranquility, Violation of Road Act, 2013, Violation of Land Act 2007, Violation of Environment Assessment Act, and for official misconduct. He was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for his involvement.

The court on the other hand acquitted the Mangmi for Violation of Land Act 2007 and for the charge of official misconduct.

The other four defendants Sangay Thinley, Sangay Wangdi, Karma Tshering and Karma Loday were charged on five grounds for Malicious Mischief, Breach of Public Order and Tranquility, Violation of Road Act, 2013, Violation of Environment Assessment Act and for Violation of Land Act 2007. The four defendants are the sons of Mangmi Sangay Tempa.

They were sentenced to three years and nine months in prison for being involved in the illegal construction of the road. However, the charges of Violation of Land Act 2007 against the four defendants were acquitted by the court.

As per the judgment all the six defendants are levied a fine of Nu 59,660 for Violation of Environment Assessment Act.

Nevertheless, all the six convicts can pay Thrim-thue in lieu of imprisonment term.

Meanwhile, they can appeal to higher court within 10 days from the date of judgment.

Background

Sangay Tempa’s three sons, Sangay Thinley, Sangay Wangdi, and Karma Tshering, began vegetable farming on 15 acres of family land in Khosung sometime in the beginning of 2020. Three of them requested for approval to build a farm road on March 30, 2020. The land is located along the Drangmechu River, near a restricted area, thus the Dzongkhag Agriculture Official couldn’t consider it.

The three defendants then approached the Dzongda for permission to march a machine for land development. Because of the uneven terrain, the approval could not be considered because marching involved unintended excavation.

The defendant Mangmi personally visited the Dzongda and insisted on approval. However, the Dzongda explained in detail for not being able to accord the approval.

The reason for not being allowed to do so was again outlined in detail when defendant MP Kuenga Loday called the Dzongda for reconsideration. Meanwhile, the defendant Karma Loday returned from Kuwait and began farming with them.

The defendants marched the machine on September 27, 2020, despite receiving no clearance to do so. The Dzongkhag Environment Committee investigated and discovered that a 233-meter-long and 4.8-meter-wide excavation had been done. On the 6th of October, 2020, the committee chaired by Dzongda conducted an additional investigation and imposed a fine.

MP Kuenga Loday, then called the Dzongrab and asked for a fine waiver. The committee, however, overturned the previous decision since it was a restricted area and the defendant was aware of it.

A criminal complaint was filed with the Chief of Police, requesting an investigation. On September 7th and October 20th, 2020, the accused MP called the Dzongda to discuss the possibilities of resolving the issue as a civil case.

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