About administrative action

The second issue in “Administrative action” asked if prime minister had the authority to issue “… directives to the home ministry, the judiciary and the police to take appropriate actions against the senior dzongkhag officials.”

Again, several of you felt that, as head of the government, the prime minister does have this authority. And again I refer to the laws of the land.

Chapter 19 of the BCSR is dedicated to administrative discipline in the civil service. And in its pages are contained procedures for the identification, investigation and adjudication of offenses by civil servants, all powers for which are vested in the RCSC. According to Chapter 19, Section 2.2.1 of the BCSR:

The RCSC shall enforce all rules & regulations and laws governing the discipline of a civil servant.

Section 2.5 of the same chapter goes on to state that:

The powers to impose both minor and major penalty on the Secretary and Head of the Autonomous Agency shall be exercised by the RCSC.

And, as noted in the previous post and defined in the BCSR, agencies include dzongkhags.

If civil servants transgress, they must be punished. But, for better or for worse, existing rules dictate that RCSC should levy the punishment. Not the home ministry. And not the prime minister.

And what of the judiciary? If judges misbehave, they too must be bought to account. And, in their case, in accordance with the Judicial Services Act. But can the prime minister “direct” the judiciary to take action against a senior judge? Absolutely not. Not if the judiciary is independent of the executive.


Facebook Comments:


  1. So what is the function of the Executive? What are its powers?

    Does the Constitution say anything on it?

    • Dear Guest:

      I’m sure you know the answers to your own questions. Still, I’ll offer my views. But for other readers, especially students and those who have not had the opportunity to read the Constitution.

      Article 20 of the Constitution defines the Executive – its structure, role, responsibilities and powers. However, there are references to the Executive’s responsibilities and powers throughout the Constitution, in most of the other Articles. Furthermore, but subject to the provisions of the Constitution, many laws, including the Lhengye Zhungtsho Chathrim, define the Executive’s specific powers and functions.


  2. Now that is stretching imagination a bit too far….The Prime Minister “directed” the Home Ministry (under the purview of the Executive) and “requested” the RUB and Judiciary to take appropriate actions.
    Obviously the PM knows his job and limitations in terms of territorial jurisdiction. Hence “requested” when it comes to RUB and Judiciary.

    So I see no procedural lapse or territorial infringement.We see a lot of new emperors with their new clothes almost everyday of our lives, the last we need is a politician with a sense of vengeance.

    • Dear Kinga:

      Do I harbour a sense of vengeance? No! Why should I? Remember one thing: I have no reason for revenge or retribution.

      Do I have a sense of purpose? Yes! I have a job. And I will try my best. I will keep that fire burning in my belly.

      Now back to the issue: I’ve quoted Kuensel in both my posts. Here’s the entire quote: “Cabinet secretary Dasho Tashi Phuntshog said the decisions were reached, following Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y Thinley’s directives to the home ministry, the judiciary and the police to take appropriate actions against the senior dzongkhag officials about a month ago.”


  3. That is what is wrong with our country.We never question the decisions made by few elites, we are like a bunch of sheeps following whatever the leader do, without questioning. Yet if someone questions, instead of digging deep and finding answers , they say it is because of jealousy.
    If we are all bunch of Yes mans, like Kinga, why even have an election.
    The reason HM turned our country into democracy is not to replace HM, but to give power to the people.

  4. guardian says

    Like, I said earlier, the OL will keep on quoting the constitution only when it suits him, period.

    • Dear Guardian:

      Please let me know when I’m wrong in quoting the Constitution. Let me know when you differ with my interpretation. And maybe, we can generate some discussions.

      But, more importantly, please let me know when I’m ignoring the Constitution, especially because it doesn’t suit me. I will take your alerts very seriously.


  5. Truth,
    There is a difference between being an “yes man” and being rational. I see that you miss the essential difference between the two.

    As for exercising that “power” you are so keen on, it will be worth your while to bear in mind that with power comes responsibilities. It is not like you can exercise that “power” emanating from your fundamental rights senselessly.

  6. The PM, being elected, has to leave his office after his tenure (?) and the Dzongdas, being civil servants, remain in office till their retirement (?). So for the PM to issue ‘directives’ to the Home Ministry in this regard, is not good.
    The question is, who questions the PM on the actions he takes?
    The Opposition party has raised questions on many relevant issues, but I wonder if any of it has been answered by the ruling party.

  7. Honorable Lyonpo,

    You had been known amongst the educated lot as one person who stand up and bring change. There are lots of discussions going on the online forums about Adap Chador,Haa Drangpon mistreating and taking advantage of our ignorant countrymen. Please, if it happens to be true, raise it in the National Assembly or during high level meetings. We Haaps look upon you as a person who can actually bring some change.

    with respects,

    Asha Haap

  8. The recent appointment of Dasho RG to the supreme court was not in line with the constitution, I know you are aware of it but you chose to remain silent for reasons best known to yourself.

    • Dear Guardian:

      More than two months ago, you raised the same issue. This is how I responded:

      @guardian Yes, we must be guided by the Constitution in every thing we do. This is especially important during the early stages of our democracy when precedents are set.

      Article 18 of the Constitution describes the roles and responsibilities of the opposition party. Read it. You’ll find that the opposition party’s main responsibility is to “play a constructive role to ensure that the Government and the ruling party function in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, provide good governance and strive to promote the national interest and fulfill the aspiration of the people.”

      In addition, Article 18 requires the opposition party to “promote and engage in constructive and constructive debate in Parliament while providing healthy and dignified opposition to the Government.” Also that the opposition party’s “aim must be to make the Government responsible, accountable and transparent.”

      The opposition party will closely follow and fully support the development of a robust judiciary – a judiciary that is capable of safeguarding, upholding and administering justice fairly and independently without fear, favour or undue delay. But our primary responsibility is not to provide checks against the judiciary. The Constitution has other mechanisms for that. And we, as the opposition party, will abide by them.

  9. I am only surprised that this land of GNH getting too messy with so cloudy clauses in all the regulations while at the same time people are busy making new laws and regulations. I think rather than making new laws to once again breed corruption by not implementing uniformly (between, che, ding and chung sum), the parliament must look at correcting the conflicting clauses. How can the RCSC Chairman have more authority and power than the PM elected by the people of the land? If there are flaws in the Constitution we must make adjustments afterall the Constitution was also made by the people. The Constitution drafting people also could not have foreseen the things that might happen 100 years from now. There should be dynamism in everything.

  10. Increasingly it is emerging that we have a Constitution that renders the ruling government without any powers to act. If it is not the Constitution, it is other rules that limit the powers of the government.

    The OL’s constant reminders and reference to the Constitution is doing something positive. It is showing us how flawed our Constitution is. I think we can expect trouble sooner than later.

    To me it is clear that if the government has not been given the power and authority to perform, then it is irresponsible on the part of the people to hold them responsible if they fail to perform as expected.

  11. Hon’ble OL,
    Its good to have some one abiding by the constitution of our country.The constitution was drafted by few genius who have worked over for many years on it. Since it is a bi product of the whole nation we do not expect flaws in the constitution.So, we are proud that you tend to bring everybody’s attention towards its contents.However,sometimes we could make the mistake of appointing people who are not fit to follow them.For instance,an offence of the same nature can be interpreted differently in different courts.Lets take the example of Educations officials who were terminated without benefits by the RCSC. The similar offenders elsewhere (the lucky lot) are still back to their service while few who have committed a lesser digree of offence are terminated. This could be firstly the misinterpretation of law by the Dasho Drangpons and then ofcourse the misinterpretation of the RCSC rules by the RCSC officials who were implementing it.I met one terminated official last week and we were discussing the matter over a cup of tea.According to the person, they were imposed pure injustice and surprisingly, the HIgh Court and RCSC have rejected their appeals.Now, what is your stand on this issue since, you seem to have questioned the RCSC Chairperson and the Education Minister? Are you still satisfied by what they have explained or do you still intend to give those unfortunate officials justice.

  12. Samtse dzongda and SP’s punishment by the government is not at all satisfactory to 99 percent of the bhutanese population as per opinions in the print forums. To me, happiness and satisfaction of majority is more important than just two persons. Facts are known and unsatisfactory action will surely encourage more and more bhutanese to behave same and consequences within 3 – 5 years will be too much. Bhutanese have learned and became expert in manipulation especially those officials at Director level. 80 percent of them are corrupted and selfish in many ways. They like boozing sessions all most every night.
    Crazy for abroad trips because good dollars. Is it compulsory rule made by the govt that the same director has go to attend all the workshops, conferences etc. etc. all the time every year? If it is so then we are risking by putting all the eggs in one basket. Now, in all the ministries, departments, organizations etc. no one is really indispensable because we have lots of equally capable employees. Therefore, there should be check and balance.

  13. Thank you so much. I am sure many eyes follow you and the National Assembly as to what will happen with the case.This is a national concern. Every civil servant must be protected form the evil clutches of few greedy people-in power while everyone is also responsible for the job they do.Good citizens be rewarded while bad be punished.However,the victims be given justice AND this is what Bhutanese expect from the Leaders. I wish you all the best in the event of proving your generosity.

  14. Here we are…..CONFUSED ABOUT THE SEPARATION OF POWERS! But why can’t we think that the issue really required to be investigated.
    I feel that the Govt. or any agency or for that matter even individuals should not be fully governed by public opinion.

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