NA withdraws Impeachment Procedure Bill

NA withdraws Impeachment Procedure Bill

In the first Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth Parliament on June 14th 2024, the National Assembly withdrew the Impeachment Procedure Bill of the Kingdom of Bhutan. The member In-charge of the Bill, Chairperson of the Legislative Committee, Kuenga (Member of Parliament) Nyishog-Saephu moved the motion to withdraw the Bill. All the sitting Members supported the withdrawal.

The bill holds significant importance as per Article 32, Section 1 of the Constitution of Bhutan, which states, “the holders of constitutional office shall be removed only by way of Impeachment by Parliament.”

It was included as an agenda item in the 1st session of the Fourth Parliament, and numerous consultative meetings were held with relevant agencies.

In alignment with the recommendations of the National Law Review Task Force, the Member In-charge of the Bill said that the committee began reviewing the Draft Bill of the National Council.

However, the Member In-charge said that the Committee is still receiving comments and have not yet finalized the bill. “Consequently, we have withdrawn the bill from the agenda for further consultation and review,” the Member In-charge said.

The National Assembly in its first press conference on 4 June, shared the agenda for the forthcoming First Session of the Fourth Parliament, where the Chairperson of the Legislative Committee said Impeachment agenda was included as there was a need to be discussed.

The Impeachment Procedure Bill of Bhutan 2024 is grounded in the country’s Constitution and guided by the recommendations of the Law Review Taskforce and the Office of the Attorney General.

The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Sangay Khandu during the press conference shared that the bill is based on Article 32 of the Constitution, which requires the legislative body to enact an Impeachment Act. In cases where holders of constitutional offices violate the law and disregard their oath, the Parliament will be compelled to take action.

The National Council introduced the Bill in May 2019 during the Parliament Session. The primary purpose of the Bill is to establish a procedure for the impeachment of constitutional office holders, ensuring that the process is guided by the principles of natural justice. The Bill aims to establish an Impeachment Investigations Committee, which will conduct a thorough, fair, and impartial investigation into allegations against constitutional office holders. Additionally, the legislation seeks to address any other matters that are consequential, incidental, or ancillary to the impeachment process, thereby providing a comprehensive framework for handling such situations.

By Sangay Rabten, Thimphu