English | Dzongkha Sunday, May 16, 2021

Sarpang District Court upholds Umling Dungkhag Court’s ruling in the case of COVID-19 emergency travel protocol breach

Mar 17, 2021

The Sarpang District Court in a judgement yesterday upheld the Umling Dungkhag Court’s ruling concerning the case of the 37-year-old businesswoman who travelled to Thimphu last year without following the COVID-19 emergency travel protocol. The Dungkhag Court sentenced her to three months in prison last month. However, the police appealed to the district court for the highest penalty.

The woman was found guilty for the Breach of Public Order and Tranquility, which is a petty misdemeanour as per Section 448 of the Penal Code of Bhutan that has a prison term of one month to less than a year. The District Court ruled that the three-month prison term for the woman who has already served two months and 10 days in the detention centre at the Gelegphu police station can not be sidelined as the lowest penalty. According to the judgement, the offence was within the country and not trespassing of international boundary offence. The prosecutor could not produce a list of maximum charges imposed to offenders across the country for violating COVID-19 protocol within the country.

She travelled to Thimphu on 6th November last year and was quarantined in Thimphu on November 8 after officials came to know that she travelled without obtaining approval from Dzongkhag Incident Commander. She was detained by Gelegphu Police on the 26th of November.

Independent Hearings for officials involved in the case of a businesswoman breaching quarantine protocol in Gelegphu

Karma Wangdi

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