On 14 May Office of Attorney General (OAG) appealed to the larger bench on child molestation case involving Ugyen Wangchuk, a Vice Principal of charity school in Bjimena. The office has appealed to the larger bench based on three grounds.
The case was first registered before the Thimphu District Court on 15 May 2018 and the final judgment was passed on 20 December 2018. Though the office has charged him against eight child molestation cases and one attempt to rape charge, which could have led to a minimum of 27 years of imprisonment, the suspect was sentenced to only 10 years in prison.
However, for the protection of the public and in the best interest of child, OAG appealed before the High Court. The High Court affirmed the district court judgment who did not take into consideration the convict’s prior criminal conviction of the same nature of the offence. “The sentence must be enhanced as the later repetition formed a serial offence of the same nature. Considering the sensitivity and nature of the case, we further appealed before the Larger Bench”, OAG said.
The office also said that they have appealed to the Larger Bench as the court has not taken into the consideration his prior criminal conviction, although the offence he has committed is of same nature. Therefore the sentencing for the present case should have been enhanced since it is the defendant’s second offence.
The second ground that the office has given is that though all the 9 counts of different child molestations has been proven beyond reasonable doubt before district court that clearly warrants consecutive sentencing for all 9 counts of child molestation, the suspect was awarded concurrent sentence for all the 9 counts that required him to serve only 5 years in prison.
“Appeal intents to deter sexual predators taking advantage of the deplorable girl child in the school”, office added as a third ground to Larger Bench.
The case was forwarded to OAG by RBP in April 2018. Ugyen Wngchuk also had the court record of having been convicted for rape of a minor by the Trashigang Dzongkhag Court in the year 2004.