Adopting the Civil Service Reform Bill, the National Assembly removed a section which gives the Office of the Attorney General the power to compound petty crimes. Compounding petty crimes means payment of fines instead of imprisonment. The National Council had recommended removing the section.
Section 31 which gives OAG the power to compound petty offenses is the only section that saw major changes. Authorizing the OAG to compound petty offenses means that the office can collect fines and dispose of most criminal cases.
According to the Chairperson of the Good Governance Committee, the members agreed with the National Council’s recommendation to remove the section after consulting with the relevant agencies.
“We have talked and consulted the judiciary and the OAG before agreeing to the National Council’s recommendation. They advised us to take the decision that would benefit the country at large. The committee also considered the urgency of the bill,” said Tenzin, the Chairperson of the Good Governance Committee.
The National Council in its recommendation stated that there will be a lack of check and balance if the sole compounding power is given to OAG. The council members also listed other risks such as political influence, abuse of power, conflict of interest, and increase in crime rates among others.
All 44 members present in the House agreed to remove the section and voted in favor of the bill today. The bill will now be submitted for Royal Assent.
Edited by Tshering Zam