The Joint Sitting of the Parliament endorsed Royal Bhutan Police (Amendment) Bill 2021 on 7 December with all the 70 members in the House in favour of the amendment. The Joint Sitting deliberated on all the 9 disputed clauses.
The Joint Committee was instituted to review the disputed clauses, deliberate and hold consultations with relevant agencies. The Chairperson of the Joint Committee, the Member of the National Council from Bumthang, Nima, presented the Bill in the House.
The 9 recommendations in the Bill includes a section on Repeal of several sections of the RBP Act 2009. The other disputed clauses are the new Sections 16(A), 16(B), 16(C), 71(A), 125(A) and Sections 41(C), 60, 125.
Rank structure, salary and allowances, benefits, appointment and removal of the officers and non-commissioned officers, duties, crime prevention activities at local level, prosecutor allowances, youth development and rehabilitation centers and program for the convicts are the disputed clauses that has been deliberated in the House.
The Chairperson in the House further submitted that the Joint Committee had come to a consensus on 8 disputed clauses except on Section 71A on the prosecutor allowance for the prosecutors of the RBP.
The Joint Sitting has discussed on the decision to repeal section 71 of the Act which states that RBP shall have the power to prosecute any person for any criminal offence other than misdemeanor and above.
The Member of the National Council from Paro, Ugyen Tshering, said “Though the prosecution is a mandate of the OAG, given the issue of manpower shortage in OAG, it would be more convenient and appropriate for police to prosecute.”
The Bill will be submitted to His Majesty The King for Royal Assent.