03 July, 2014

Reading between the lines of laws

Not so long ago, since Bhutan embraced a Democratic form of government, there has been one thing, notable and worth brainstorming-different interpretations of the laws by the parties in the fray, immediately ensuing controversial decisions in the Assembly. Reading between lines to defend one's own stand, the opinions of the people were swayed between two. This gives one an impression that laws could be bent, stretched and twisted, of its flexibility of language for favoring one's decision, though it might have been flawed, unless  true interpretations were sought from the Supreme Court, apex interpreting body.

During the first democratically elected government, the opposition had a tussle over the ruling government on the case of misinterpretation of the constitution, which had reached to the Supreme Court for final interpretations. But a question looms, what if the decisions were taken not in the spirit of the law and goes on without seeking advice of the Supreme Court? It would be the subjects who has to brave the tremor of such decisions, obviously not the politicians. 

But the story hadn't stopped. Today, it's yet another narrative that would be scripted in the book of Bhutanese Democracy; Money Bill or Ordinary Bill? There appears a thick fog of misunderstanding, whether to declare Parliamentarians Entitlement Bill, a money bill or the latter despite the government claiming it's a money bill and decision already taken. Should it be a money bill, it has to be deliberated in a joint sitting, which was not the case. 

Source: Google

The political drama and conundrum surrounds around myriad interpretations one could make from a sentence. However, very interestingly, everyone in the Parliament shows a bubbling confidence while deliberating in the hall, never to have sought clarifications from the supreme court, formally or informally. The drama ensues, post deliberations and decisions. The case is not a surprise to Bhutanese. We have heard the first elected government being dragged to the court for the same reason. It validates a critique that the Bhutanese buy, 'we hardly learn lesson'. 

It has added to  the smoke and cloud further when NC decided to defer their pay revision until such measures stated in Pay Commission Report are implemented. It has raised a question, whether deferring pay revision approved by the National Assembly would mean bad precedence and hurts the spirit of the Constitution. The Opposition had also showed their interest in following the suit, provided this decision doesn't create a bad precedence  and contravenes any law, in the understanding of the government. They have called on government for the clarification. 

Such political dramas, confusions, clamors,etc. would continue if our politicians are not fed enough with insights into interpreting laws. They should be able to interpret the laws, as conceived. Also, there must be way through for the Speaker to seek an unbiased clarifications from the Supreme Court should there be any, during the process of deliberations, before the decisions are dubbed ILLEGAL. It is disheartening to see half-baked, haste decisions coming through. 

Irrespective of being in opposition or ruling government or National Council, all are called by a common name, Member of Parliament. This is striking, it gives a sense of oneness to act in the good spirit of nation rather than putting dividing lines among themselves as Government MPs, Opposition MPs and NC MPs.

There should be ways for us to close the chapter on Political Dramas. We cannot enjoy in the words of GNH surrounded with Political Dramas, it mirrors not really worth going-ahead of Politics.

Looking forward to see an end to rigging political dramas!


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