Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Serial-rapists sentenced to 45 years and 17 years

Two men convicted for a string of late night gang rapes, robbery, criminal attempt to voluntary manslaughter, battery and consumption, and possession of controlled substance s appeared in the Thimphu District Court for the ultimate judgment yesterday.
Tshering Dorji, a 26-year-old ex-soldier from Dogar under Paro dzongkhag was sentenced to 45 years and three months in connection to gang rapes, rape of a married woman, attempt to gang rape, attempt to voluntary manslaughter, three battery cases, robbery and consumption and possession of controlled substances.
All charges against the convict were proved beyond reasonable doubt.
The other convict Gyembo Dorji, 23 from Chang Jiji, Thimphu also an ex-soldier was sentenced to 17 years and three months prison term in connection with gang rape, attempt to gang rape, attempt to robbery, battery and consumption and possession of controlled substances.
All five charges for him had also been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Convicted on gang rape and other criminal acts following a jury trial, Tshering Dorji and Gyembo Dorji together was found guilty of gang rape, attempt to gang rape, battery, attempted for robbery  and consumption and possession of controlled substance.
The court had no leniency for the charges and has no hesitation to sentence the defendants who were former army personnel who acted against their oaths taken for the security of the country.
The court as it passed the judgment ruled that it is hard to bear, and particularly painful act of gang rape committed by the defendant which is a very heinous, atrocious and cruel crime manifesting exceptional depravity on behalf of the defendants.
“The law cannot allow innocent lives to be defiled, traumatized, and ruined families stigmatized,” the court ruled in its judgment.
The defendants pleaded leniency on the grounds that the crimes were committed while they were under the influence of drugs.
The court ruled that reducing the sentence by granting concern and sympathy to the issues of “first offender” and “drugs influence” would render the theory of deterrent punishment a mockery, especially at a time when the crime rate in the country is on the rise.
“The safety and security of women should be protected and ensured, the court must be alerted to the law abiding mission as an instrument of justice.” The verdict stated.
The court has no hope in the reformation of the two defendants and they were given 10 days to appeal to the High Court.
Their victims, five in total, a married woman and four young women were in the age range of  22- 25 when they were assaulted.
Of the five victims, one of them was compensated by the District Court while others could not reached by the court.

Synergy within government agencies, when will it happen?

It’s not a new thing to hear of communication gap between government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. Often information and data equally useful to one government organization but gathered by another is retained for reasons unknown. On the contrary, sharing of such information and data can help save huge expenses on the government exchequer.
We often come across government agencies functioning in isolation when synergy can be their call. But the question is when will they come together and function as one, targeting the welfare of our common people. It’s due to such isolation within government agencies that people end up running from post to pillar even for small and simple services.
The recent Pipla confiscation case in Samtse speaks volume on this. The forest product was seized by the officials of the Samtse Regional Revenue and Custom Office during their inspection to check groceries being taken out of the country in order to spend their Bhutan Currency.
The Pipla confiscation team however failed to include the forest officials who were not very far from the border check post. This resulted in escape of the culprit, the driver of the van. He escaped from being penalized under the Forest and Nature Conservation Rules, 2006 owing to the sole reason that RRCO officials didn’t inform the relevant officials.
The information didn’t reach the forest official even after a month. The RRCO official claimed they were not aware of what the seized product was. But why didn’t they try to find out what it was? Moreover, they waited for the directives from their superior in Thimphu on how to go about with disposal of the product.
The Nu. 37,500 worth of Pipla could have simply gone to waste and become unmarketable and commercially not viable, had it not been in its dried form while it spent a month’s time in the store.
Forest officials are surprised to know that the information took a snail’s pace to reach them. Interestingly, the RRCO and forest office function within a stone’s throw away from each other.
Had the information been traded in its immediacy the culprit would not have escaped and also the authorities would be made aware of such smuggling activities in the forests.
Forest officials are already in pursuit of the vehicle which ferried the illegal product.
The smuggler Anob Bansal, escaped without any penalties after he indulged in illegal business from the country.
At this time we are in need of a trained and tactful people to filter the product imported and exported from the country in order to make sure about the resources being not smuggled out of the country.