Fundamental question

Last week, Kuensel reported that the prime minister had announced that:

… import of private light vehicles will be temporarily stopped until the Supreme Court comes out with a verdict on the government’s appeal.

My last entry, on interpreting the Constitution, made me wonder if the PM’s announcement to ban the import of private light vehicles is – you guessed it – constitutional or not.

Why? Because Article 7 Section 10 of the Constitution guarantees that:

A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to practice any lawful trade, profession or vocation.

In other words, as long as your business is lawful, you have the right – a fundamental right – to conduct that business. And how can you tell if your business is lawful? By referring to relevant laws. But if the government has given you a license to conduct that business, that business must be legal.

A ban on the import of private vehicles would mean that certain businesses, licensed to buy and sell vehicles, would not be able to do business. That should make us ask, are fundamental rights being violated?


Facebook Comments:


  1. If government needs to beg for every little thing to implement – then it is a lame duck. I think the PM has not banned for ever, he has only suspended until the verdict is over so that people pay the right kind of tax rates or that government need not refund in the worst case.

  2. mayisuggest says

    It appears that the suspension of sale of vehicles, if at all necessary for the court proceeding, should be ordered to the responsible agents by a way of temporary injunction by the COURT, and not by the PM or the government who are in fact the parties in the present case.

  3. i too find this decision very absurd and totally irrational. Looks like people working in STCBL, zimda, hounda etc will be paid(monthly salary) by the government. Yeah, it is just a temporary ban but how long is temporary? court may take weeks,months or years to pass the verdict…should people stay idle till that time?

  4. Good point, OL! You make more sense than those 47 put together.

  5. Truth_is_Buddha says

    No democratic governments should or can have absolute and unilateral powers. The Constitution should dictate to the government and not the other way around. In our country, ruling powers tend to assume absolute powers, which can set bad precedents and violate the core principles of being democratic.

  6. But this all arouse out of OL’s opposition to tax increase on vehicle imports.

    Bhutan needs to develop. Our Politicians and civil servants need periodical pay hike. Donors are already withdrawing support. Govt. has no authority to exract resources from the haves society.

    What would have PDP done had it won the votes to form the government? I believe the solution should start from this answer. Posing questions and conering the ruling govt. is not serving the nation. Pointing out mistakes and offering suggestions for error resolution should come out hand-in-hand if at all Opposition Party is genuinely aiming to serve Tsa-Wa-Sum.

  7. kinzangchophel says

    But from my suggestion what ever governmetn take actions; it is for the benefit of Bhutanese scoiety and not for revaging the people. haa Opposition always speaks of constitution. Yes OL is doing great but governmetn and OL should measure the both the merits and demerits of such action. The constitution always protect ” Is the pinnacle for everyone of us.
    What ever PM take actions, the motto should be as follow.
    “The necessity of few should not overcome the necessity of all”
    There should be spacious freeedom and such freedom can be open up by us and OL seesm ambidexterous on such actions. I salute you wholeheartedly to raise every actions taken by government. But dont raise issues to govt… if that actions benefits very bhutanese. Hope ther will be no political trauma and turmoil in the up coming years…
    With best wishes……………

  8. we common people need to understand what is the deep facts lies in ahead of banning the import of private light vehicles. now the worry is that why only light vehicles and not other heavy machines? both are importing goods only? what type of light vehicles are going to banned it and why?
    it is the citizen right of banning? the taxes on vehicles are also need to revised as we have to look back who after all are going to suffer. the vehicle owner or the common passengers?
    the collection of taxes will increase the living standard of Bhutan with low income and bridge between rich and poor will be more if certain policies are not implemented to protect the exploitation of innocent people..

  9. Wonder who is giving such stupid advices to our PM. He is capable of doing something better than this. Or has power completely blinded his intellect?

  10. What else could have PM done? All those taxes would have only affected those affluents who have become affluent not because they were hardworking but because of certain back door means.
    Unless we have another maruti dealer in the country, temporary ban on imports of vechicles should Prolongggggggg

  11. hey folks let’s wake up to what the devil’s game that OL is playing. By trying to put the govt down at every chance he gets, he is destroying the country and the democracy. He’s main aim as the Blogging OL is to fool us young guys coz from what he told some of his chamchas, the old folks know him too well. so with the minister’s salary he gets and the office with computors and all, and no work to do, he is trying to make us his vote bank.

    What do u expect the PM to do? OL is the one who is behind this. don’t we know that he went to High court on the order of his friend and boss family of the owner of Zimdra and other big shot car importers? the court ordered an injunction that means stop all business regarding car importation until the case is decided. If the imports go on, OL will the first guy to run to the court again to say that the govt is not obeying the order. by the way he is supposed to say that he is fighting for the people. But I think when he objected to the increase of taxes, he was against the majority who are poor and deserve to get some benefit from the taxes that will go to pay for their poverty removal like the roads, electricity and water. after all those who can afford to buy cars are benefiting from what they get by exploiting us or are too irresponsible by taking loans to have cars to show off.

  12. Hon’ble OL, I would like to relate the ban on imported vehicles by PM to a similiar incident in the past which he used to gain the sentiments of the general public.
    It was during the 80th National Assembly session that the current PM, the then Home Minister supported by Dorji Lopen of Zhung Dratshang lied to the Bhutanese people by falsely claiming that the Ngyezergang lhakhang had been already registered under the Zhung Dratshang but the following year when the People’s Representatives (Chimi’s) learnt about the false statement they protested and the Home Minister was required to obtain the registration at any cost. Then, similiar to the import ban this time he as the Home Minister banned registration of all Government lands and property across the nation. He is trying the same this time but he is certain to loose this time. Hon’ble OL, if the supreme court verdict is in favour of you then, your second point of Finance Ministers resignation should be also implemented.

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