English | Dzongkha Sunday, May 16, 2021

Larger Bench of High Court upholds High Court’s ruling convicting the Home Minister – False insurance claim case


Mar 18, 2021

The Larger Bench of the High court today upheld the High Court’s judgment that convicted Home Minister Sherab Gyeltshen. The minister was sentenced to two months in prison for a false vehicle insurance claim worth over Nu 200,000.

The Larger Bench affirmed the ruling of the High Court convicting the Home Minister, former Executive Director Sonam Dorji, General Manager Sangay Wangdi and Sangay Dorji of the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Limited (RICBL).

The home minister was sentenced for falsely claiming vehicle insurance for his Toyota Prado in June 2016 from the RICBL stating his vehicle met with an accident at Lamperi. He is asked to refund the amount. Meanwhile, in the same case, the Thimphu District Court also sentenced four RICBL officials and the owner of an automobile workshop ranging from one month to one year in prison.

The former Executive Director of RICBL, Sonam Dorji was handed down a one-year prison term. He misused his position and changed the vehicle insurance cover of the Home Minister from the third party to a comprehensive scheme.

RICBL’s General Manager Sangay Wangdi was sentenced to six months in prison for solicitation and asking his inspection officer Ugyen Namdrol to arrange a blank receipt from the automobile workshop to adjust the bill.

Sangay Dorji also from the RICBL received a one-month prison term for aiding and abetting as he signed the committee’s resolution even after knowing the claim was false.

However, the Larger Bench amended the charges of Ugyen Namdrol from forgery and deceptive practices to aiding and abetting for forgery and deceptive practices. With this, his prison term is reduced to six months. As per the judgment, neither did he gain any personal benefits nor any outcomes from his act. Earlier, the High Court had sentenced him to one year in prison.

The Home Minister along with the four RICBL officials appealed to the Larger Bench of the High Court in October last year. They can appeal to the Supreme Court within the next ten days.

Kinley Dem & Tshering Zam 

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