Taw Tshering the father of the 17 year old victim, raped and impregnated by the 75 year old neighbor Bapula is relieved with the justice received on 27 November as the convict was slapped a prison term of nine years and three months after he was proven to be the biological father of twin daughters born to his victim.
The court has ordered the convict to pay a lump sum Nu 259,200 as child allowance for the twins within six months. The amount was calculated on 40% of national wage, which amounts to Nu 1,200 a month and Nu 14,400 a year for the twins until they reach 18 years.
The convict was booked under the amended version of the Penal code of Bhutan, section 183, “A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of a rape of a child above the age of twelve years if the defendant commits any act of sexual intercourse against a child between the ages of twelve to eighteen years. However, consensual sex between children of sixteen years and above shall not be deemed to be rape.”
Rape of a child above the age of twelve years will be slapped a second degree felony, a term of imprisonment, nine years minimum and a maximum of which shall be less than fifteen years.
The convict Bapula received an additional three months for denial of not being the father of the twins. The court also ordered Bapula to pay the victim Nu 80,000 as compensation and for the damage done to her.
Brief Case history
The defendant Bapula was arrested on 5 July this year and charged for rape of a child above 12 years and below 18 years by the Woman and Child Protection Unit (WCPU) of the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) after the victim’s father registered the case with the police.
The case was forwarded to Thimphu district court and prosecuted by the attorney general office on behalf of the victim. Blood samples of alleged father, victim, and the twins were sent to Sri Lanka for DNA test after Bapula demanded for the DNA test.
The court, through the Thimphu national referral hospital (JDWNRH) sent the samples of the alleged father, victim, and the twins to Genetech Lab, Sri Lanka for DNA test on 31July.
The DNA report, which the forensic unit forwarded to the court on 25 October, confirmed Bapula as the biological father of the twin daughters born on 11July at the Thimphu hospital.
The twin daughters born on the morning of 11July at JDWNRH each weighed between 1.17 kgs to 2.180 kgs. They are looked after by the parents of Sonam Choki (the 17 year old victim) when she is away selling vegetables near the Thimphu-Wangduephodrang highway in Yusipang, Thimphu.
Tandin Bida is the elder twin and Tandin Wangmo is just three minutes younger to her sister.
Sonam Choki’s parents discovered their daughter’s pregnancy after she complained of swollen legs. She was taken to the Thimphu hospital for a check-up where she was confirmed pregnant with twins.
The father of the victim Taw Tshering, 49 said, “My only concern is whether the relatives of the convict will deposit the said amount or not. The amount will be deposited in the names of the twins for their future”.
“I am glad that the case was in our favor and hoping for the best for my daughter and granddaughters,” said a hugely relieved Taw Tshering.