Vehicle misuse

A great deal of significance has been attached by many to the Supreme Court’s verdict that exonerated the former Foreign Minister of criminal charges for government vehicle misuse imposing only administrative sanction.

This is, as if to say, that a verdict to the contrary would have solved the issue of pool vehicle misuse overnight.

A legal expert from the Judiciary is right in saying that if the former Foreign Minister is to be criminally charged and thrown out if his MP post for vehicle misuse, then by the sheer legal precedent set the vast majority of public servants should also be subject to the same. Misuse is misuse after all and a criminal charge on one should apply to all.

Why stop at civil servants as a majority of Judges who have at some point or the other also misused government vehicles should immediately step down and resign especially following the earlier criminal conviction by the High Court.

This should then apply to all politicians sitting in the Parliament and if any of them have misused government vehicles in their current or past capacity then they should also resign.

If Bhutan is ready for all of the above and those preaching are willing to apply the same standards on themselves then the former Foreign Minister should have been convicted criminally and hounded out of office. Justice is justice and there is little sense in just slaughtering one sheep while the others continue to eat the same forbidden grass. The law after all should apply equally for all.

Government vehicle misuse is a major problem that needs to be tackled. However, it is unfair to just put the onus on the judiciary especially when the very basic definitions, rules and especially implementation are unclear from the executive. There should clearly be more stringent rules eliminating all loop holes.

As just one solution, if the same RBP that incessantly stops vehicles asking for licenses documents did the same to check government vehicle misuse, especially after office hours and during holidays, then the problem would be reduced.

Ultimately it is clear that vehicle misuse is a much larger and bigger problem which will need a larger effort from all stakeholders and most importantly us as individuals. It is easy to slaughter an individual sheep and pretend the problem is solved but it is much more difficult to reform the entire flock.

“Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both,”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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