The Trashigang District Court recently ordered a contractor to restitute more than Nu 25 M to the government. The case concerns the construction of a Primary Health Centre in Merak and the hostel construction of Dungtse and Bidung schools in Tashigang. Apart from not being able to meet the deadlines, Leki Wangchuk, the contractor, is said to have claimed additional money without the execution of work.
The Trashigang District Court’s judgement states that Leki Wangchuk claimed over Nu 7.3 M from the district administration for the construction of a Primary Health Centre in Merak. However, he completed only about Nu 6.1 M worth of construction work.
He has to restitute more than Nu 3.5 M including the additional amount he claimed, the worth of works that have yet to be executed and fines and penalties.
The district administration terminated his contract in April 2018, after he failed to complete the construction even after extending the deadline. He got the contract in 2015.
In addition, as per the judgement, he had claimed an additional amount of more than Nu 11 M for the construction of hostels of Dungtse and Bidung schools in Trashigang. He has to restitute more than Nu 21 M. This includes the additional amount he claimed, the worth of works that have yet to be executed and fines and penalties.
Apart from the restitution amount, he has to pay a fine of more than Nu 2.2 M for not meeting the deadline for the construction of the Merak Primary Health Centre in accordance with the Anti-Corruption Act. He has to pay the amounts within one year from the day of the judgment.
The court also convicted Leki of deceptive practice for forging documents to get the contract works of hostel construction of the two schools. As per the judgement, he had forged the signature and seal of another construction company. For this, he has been sentenced to a year in prison. But he can pay Nu 45,000 in lieu of the prison term.
The court also convicted four other officials for their involvement in the case. The site engineers have been charged with official misconduct and tampering of documents.
According to the judgment, the site engineers had approved the additional budgets Leki Wangchuk claimed without visiting the site and for works that were not carried out at all. While they have been given a prison term of one year, they can also pay Nu 45,000 in place of the prison term.
The court ordered the convicts to pay the thimthrue within ten days from the day of the judgment.
Edited by Sonam Pem