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?