After the presentation of the final recommendation on the Royal Bhutan Police (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2021 for adoption by the Good Governance Committee (GGC), the National Council (NC) with a show of hands approved the committee’s recommendations and adopted the Bill.
The Bill will be forwarded to National Assembly (NA) along with the recommendations. The Social and Cultural Committee of the NA has proposed around 30 sections for Amendment, whereby the House has rejected a few of the committee’s recommendation while some of the recommendations were supported.
GGC has proposed 43 sections for the amendment, of which they have approved 29 sections as proposed, and the House has directed the GGC to revisit 14 sections.
The GGC Committee Chair, Member of Parliament (MP) Dawa from Bumthang, shared that after a thorough discussions on the 14 sections with additional consultation meetings, they have further approved 4 sections as proposed out of 14 sections. With the discussions within, they have concluded and approved the remaining 10 sections as well.
However, he said, “We have recommended five new sections to the Act, of which three sections are completely new, but are somehow interlinked with the proposed 49 sections for the Amendment while the two sections were modified (from the existing section) and proposed as a new section.”
For a discussion, MP Dawa proposed 15 sections wherein, the new section 16 (a) as recommended by GGC states that as an important part of nation’s security forces, RBP shall be treated like RBA and RBG on rank structure, appointment, promotion and removal, positions and tenure and salary, allowances, benefits and other emoluments.
Section 28, on the composition of the police service board, though they have proposed for 11 members ion the board, GGC has recommended to have just 9 members. Likewise, GGC recommended to allow RBP prosecute the case below petty misdemeanor.
“We have repealed section 71 from the Amendment Bill which states the RBP shall have the power to prosecute any person for any criminal offence other than misdemeanor and above. In addition, we have inserted a new section recommending the same allowance for the RBP’s prosecutor as same as that of the OAG prosecutors,” he added.
Accordingly, during the show of hands, the NC members approved the final recommendations of the RBP (Amendment) Bill 2021 as proposed by GGC.
Meanwhile, MP Sangay Dorji from Chukha said that they are hopeful that with the Amendment of the Act, after almost 12 years, would encourage RBP officers and non-commissioned officers and help them to better serve the nation with more confidence.
MP Surjaman Thapa from Dagana said, “Knowing the importance of RBP and the role they play in our lives, I am in full support of the Amendment, and I am hopeful that this would help boost their energy to work hard further.”