Teacher convicted to 10 years for molesting 10 students

The Supreme Court on 4 April upheld the High Court’s judgment involving a 56-year-old former teacher, Dil Bahadur Chhetri Neopani, in connection to molesting 10 students in 2019.

He was initially convicted to 30 years in prison by the Tsirang District Court in July 2021, however, the High Court in November 2021 reduced the years, and gave him a concurrent sentence of 10 years and six months.

The Tsirang District Court has ordered him to pay a compensation of Nu 90,000 to each victim. The defendant appealed to the high court.

Nevertheless, the High Court found him guilty of touching the students (victims) inappropriately. Though, the defendant’s representative stated, in the appeal, that the parents of the victims do not want to accept the compensation from the defendant, the High Court, however, upheld the compensation part. 

The High Court altered the offence from fourth degree of felony to second degree of felony, wherein, as per the Penal Code of Bhutan 2004, a defendant convicted of a felony of the second degree shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment, a minimum of which shall be nine years and a maximum of which shall be less than 15 years.

Dil Bahadur Chhetri Neopani from Tsholingkhar, Tsirang was arrested on 8 November 2019 following a complaint on 5 November against him for molesting students in one of the primary schools in Tsirang. The victims complained against the suspect for ‘bad touch’.

The victims were class II and III students, aged between 8 years to 10 years, while the defendant was an officiating principal of the school.

As per the source, though he does not have any criminal record, he has a record of breaching the Royal Civil Service Commission’s Code of Conduct.

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