MPs talk misuse of power by RBP officials

The misuse of power by the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) was a topical discussion, deliberated at length in the National Assembly (NA) last week.

The issue was raised by the Kabji-Talo MP, Tshering Penjor.

The house deliberated on two cases.  One pertained to the Drukair pilot, Sonam Tobgay and the Station Manager, Ugyen Tashi, and the other was a case related to an orderly who was ousted from his job.

Some MPs said that the RBP would not be involved in the former case if Ugyen Tashi was not the incumbent Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel’s son. The MPs said there had been misuse of power ‘somewhere’ they wanted the ACC to probe into it.

The incident dates back to 2011, when Ugyen Tashi filed a complaint against the Druk Air pilot after the he had an argument with the Drukair pilot.  After that the Captain was detained for a night, before being produced in the court.

The Paro Court’s verdict was in favor of Ugyen Tashi.

The Drukair pilot, Captain Sonam Tobgay was found guilty, hence lost the case. He appealed to the High Court but he lost the case sometime between April-May, this year.

Sonam Tobgay has now appealed to the Supreme Court.

In the case of the ousted orderly, Jamtsho the said orderly was alleged to be mistreated by an officer and then relieved of his duty without any benefits.

Athang-Thedtsho, MP Passang Thrinlee said in both the cases, an aspect of misused power on the RBP’s part is highly prominent.

“We need to look into the RBP Act. This Act was made independent under the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs to empower the police in order to efficiently control crime, but, here, probably there has been misuse of power,” said Passang Thrinlee.

The Athang-Thedtsho MP said after taking stock of the misuse of power for personal benefits in such incidents, the RBP act should be revisited.

One of the MP’s said one of the clauses that need to be looked into was on the power of police chief,

“Somewhere along the lines, he felt that there were discreet elements that required amendment,” said the MP.

The MP said, it was the house that had passed the RBP Act in the first place and now to propose such an amendment, he will have to pass the motion first and then if it went through discussions can follow for the next session.

In regard to the Drukair captain’s case, Gangzur-Minjay, MP Karma Rangdol said, he did not doubt Brigadier Kipchu’s intentions but down the line, it seemed to him that officials might have misused their authority.

“I believe that the circumstances were unfair and the case seems to have been blanketed. This misuse of power has not been reported by the ACC, which should have been probed into,” said Karma Rangdol.

Kabji-Talo MP Tshering Penjor said only the accused was detained, when both parties should have been there. He said something did not feel right under the circumstances.

“If there was a wrongdoing involved, then it should be corrected,” said Tshering Penjor.

The Bhutanese attempted to get Captain Sonam Tobgay’s say on the whole case, but he declined to comment as his appeal was submitted to the Supreme Court and since the case was in proceeding, he said he will be forth coming with his comments after the verdict is passed.

“I am going to the Supreme Court to get justice and that is all I can say for now,” said Sonam Tobgay.

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  1. This is true, RBP is like a mafia,,, torture ordinary citizens like me,, What happened to the case of chief and orderly,, any outcome,, or disappeared in GNH country.

  2. This is one mere case known to public that the RBP in Bhutan misuses Power or Authority…….BUT there are many well known but unrevealed cases at various levels in the country where RBP really tortures the ordinary citizens, and pretends to act deaf and blind to high social levels…. and that is what GNH country is to the outside world…

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