DNT has de­cided not to ap­peal on the con­sti­tu­tional case

Bhutan Times - - Home - Thin­ley Choda

Af­ter the dis­missal of the con­sti­tu­tional case against the gov­ern­ment by the high court, Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa (DNT) had de­cided not to ap­peal fur­ther.

The party pres­i­dent Dr. Tandin Dorji said that as a po­lit­i­cal party, he thought that the party has done their best and the de­ci­sion has been made by the High Court.

Dr Tandin said that “We are grate­ful to the High Court for giv­ing DNT the op­por­tu­nity to sub­mit our pe­ti­tion on the vi­o­la­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion by the gov­ern­ment and for the fair legal pro­cesses ac­corded to us.”

While the High Court has not passed judg­ment on the con­sti­tu­tional vi­o­la­tion per se, Dr. Tandin thanked the Court for rul­ing that any past fis­cal in­cen­tives or schemes should be sub­ject to re­view, if nec­es­sary, by the suc­ceed­ing gov­ern­ment and sub­se­quently rat­i­fied by the Par­lia­ment through amend­ment or by way of in­tro­duc­ing a new money bill on those past fis­cal in­cen­tives.

The gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to fol­low this in pass­ing its fis­cal in­cen­tives pol­icy is clearly not in ac­cor­dance with the law.

The press re­lease from the DNT stated that, while re­spect­ing the Court’s rul­ing that DNT has no “lo­cus standi”(legal stand­ing) as it is not di­rectly harmed, af­fected or suf­fered an actual in­jury is un­for­tu­nate.

The loss of rev­enue for the na­tion is a loss to all Bhutanese and has af­fected all of us. Nev­er­the­less the party ac­knowl­edges the ab­sence in our legal sys­tem of fil­ing pub­lic lit­i­ga­tion cases and de­spite of their best ef­forts to con­vince on our legal stand­ing, the party re­spect the rul­ing by the Court of plac­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity on fil­ing con­sti­tu­tional writ on the Op­po­si­tion, stated the press re­lease.

The press re­lease fur­ther stated that the op­po­si­tion has stated that the pro­vi­sion of fis­cal in­cen­tives in 2016 is a vi­o­la­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion and it is there­fore the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the Op­po­si­tion now, to de­cide whether to file a case to clar­ify con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of pro­vid­ing fis­cal in­cen­tives.

The dis­missal by the Court of the Gov­ern­ment’s ar­gu­ment of the mat­ter be­ing sub-ju­dice has clar­i­fied that the gov­ern­ment has no au­thor­ity what­so­ever to ob­tain the opin­ion of the Supreme Court and that only His Majesty the King can com­mand for such an ab­stract ju­di­cial re­view, stated the press re­lease.

It fur­ther stated that hav­ing thus ruled, it is ap­par­ent that the gov­ern­ment has no legal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for vi­o­lat- ing the con­sti­tu­tion. The dis­missal of the case is based en­tirely on the legal stand­ing of DNT and whether, as a Party out­side the par­lia­ment, can file for a con­sti­tu­tional writ.

How­ever, the press re­lease also stated that “The Court, in its wis­dom and for the fu­ture of the democ­racy has ruled that only the Op­po­si­tion Party has the re­spon­si­bil­ity.” “We re­spect the de­ci­sion and urge that the Op­po­si­tion Party will take this case for­ward and bring it to its log­i­cal con­clu­sion.”

How­ever, Dr. Tandin Dorji said that “The case has not been con­cluded. We still don’t know whether this vi­o­la­tion has been done or not. The court has ruled that DNT has been af­fected and we have not been harm di­rectly.”

Dr Tandin said that al­though they have con­vince the Court that the money that has been wave off was into the con­sol­i­date fund, it’s our gov­ern­ment money. That money could have been used for our health, education and roads.

He also added that the Nu.7B or what­ever the amount of money that has been waved off is a loss, di­rectly af­fected to all us. He said the Court has con­cluded that it is not di­rectly af­fected to DNT.

“Only those who are af­fected or the Op­po­si­tion has this legal stand­ing to file the case. So the Court is say­ing DNT does not have the legal stand­ing,” said Dr. Tandin.

Hav­ing said that DNT be­lieves that the Court rul­ing, the gov­ern­ment ar­gu­ment was that DNT has no legal stand­ing which the court has ac­cepted and base on that the case was dis­miss.

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