English | Dzongkha Monday, August 20, 2018

High Court finds Sonam Tshering guilty

May 19, 2011

Upholding the verdict of the Thimphu district court, the High Court sentenced Sonam Tshering to three years in prison for smuggling tobacco products. Sonam Tshering is the first person to be sentenced under the Tobacco Act. He was caught on January 24 at Chunzom check post with tobacco products worth Nu. 120.

His lawyer argued that Sonam Tshering bought the tobacco product for self consumption and also identified Jaigaon as the source.

The High Court verdict said when a person secretly and illegally imports or exports restricted goods across the border it is smuggling.

The verdict also said the source must be within the territorial jurisdiction of the kingdom and not beyond the reach of the Kingdom’s law.

The defendant also pleaded ignorance of the law but the High Court said the defendant cannot seek shelter and plead ignorance of law.

Sonam Tshering will now be appealing to the full bench of the High Court.

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