Parliamentary debates over the nature of private bills and mode of passage is taken so many turns to now resemble the chicken and egg riddle.
The 9th session is long over but the National Council (NC) still has its guards up to defend the National Flag bill. NC MPs stand by their previously submitted strongpoint that NA has confused ‘private’ member’s bill with a ‘private bill’.
The NC has decided to put it up to His Majesty for assent.
NA MPs had however dismissed this piece of defense as baseless and illogical in view of the fact that the procedures are not proper. NA concluded, the private bills should have procedures like money bills which according to constitution and the legislative procedures can originate only in the NA.
The rules of procedure in both the houses dictate the private member’s bill is to be passed similar to public bills but the rules however do not have anything on the private bill.
NA MP Dupthob said that the process of properly identifying a bill is crucial especially public bills and private bills.
NC MP Jigmi Rinzin said there is a colossal difference between the two bills but NA MPs point out areas in which proper legal guidelines are lacking.
The NA’s Deputy Speaker Yangku Tshering further explained that the lack of procedures of drafting a bill till the time it’s introduced in the parliament is the reason behind the withdrawal of the first private member’s bill.
“The difference in the private bill and a private member’s bill is, the perception of the people,” he said.
NC MPs said it’s most necessary to have procedures for a private bill but it was wrong on NA’s part to have said that there are no procedures.
Two Private Member bills, from NC, the Right to Information Act (RTI) and National Flag bill was snubbed by the National Assembly (NA).
After prolonged and intense debates the NA asked the NC to withdraw the National flag bill for which the NA Speaker stated the absence of proper rules and procedures fir Private Member’s bills as a reason.
And that is where the whirlpool of procedural debates started.