Exactly one month ago, I called on the Royal Civil Service Commission requesting them to reverse their decision to terminate (without retirement benefits) seven education officials from their jobs. The basis of my request was that the RCSC had violated Section 10.2 of the Bhutan Civil Service Rules and Regulations 2006.
Section 10.2 declares that: “Only one penalty shall be imposed in each case.”
I haven’t heard from the RCSC yet. But in the meantime, I’ve learnt about another case, this time involving three officials of the Paro NIE.
They too had been caught “adjusting” their accounts, supposedly to meet workshop expenses. They were penalized. Then they were taken to court. And after the court’s verdict, the RCSC reinstated all three of them in their earlier jobs.
One of them decided to resign. He applied for, and received his retirement benefits.
The other two decided to continue in their jobs. But the RCSC reversed their earlier decision and terminated them both. They didn’t receive their retirement benefits.
Where is Section 10.2? Where is justice?
This is their story:
We (Phurba & Kezang D. Yeshey – lecturers of Paro College of Education) would like to inform you about the nature and actions taken by different offices.
We were hired by Dorji Wangchuk, CAPSD, Education division, Paro to conduct Environment Studies (EVS) workshops in nine districts. We adjusted some of the bills after conducting workshops to cover for the extra payments made to the participants and workshop helpers. As a result, we had to accept so many administrative actions and legal penalties. And they are as follows:
- We paid the adjusted amount to the Royal Audit Authority (RAA)
- Ministry of Education forwarded our case to the Office of the Attorney General for prosecution. Letter no: MoE/ADM(22-2006/3319 dated 10/11/2006)
- After few months our case was withdrawn by MoE and RCSC in preference of Administrative action (Kuensel, vol no: XXII sometimes in January 2007)
- In February 2007, MoE & RCSC jointly conducted meeting to impose administrative actions against us. (Minutes of the meeting available with us)
- MoE & RCSC imposed administrative action through Office of the Vice Chancellor (OVC) by withholding promotion for three years and maintaining in the negative name list for three years without availing training and further studies. (Letter no: RUB/ADM-15(B)/2007/2254 dated 19th march 2007)
- As a result Phurba missed his masters training programme which was supposed to be in UNE, Australia. (Internal notice, dated 30, march 2007)
- In April 2008, the OAG prosecuted us in Paro District court and suspended us during that period (Letter No: PCE/ADM(16)2007-2008/1861 dated 14th April 2008).
- Paro District court acquitted us of all the charges. (Verdict no: 11274, dated 13/08/2008)
- The OAG appealed to the High court against our acquittal. The High Court reversed the District court’s verdict and sentenced us for eighteen months imprisonment and fifteen months for Dorji Wangchuk. (Verdict No: 09-05 dated 19/02/2009)
- After the High court verdict, RUB reinstated us in our formal jobs with additional administrative action. That is, RUB Withheld one year increment as per the BCSRR sec 2.4.3, page 191 (Letter No: RUB/HRM/15/(B)2009/1443 dated 25/03/2009)
- RCSC issued office order to the Dy. Auditor General regarding Dorji Wangchuk’s entitlement to his retirement benefits as we were already reinstated by RUB (letter No: RCSC/LS-4/2009/5090 dated march 5/2009)
- Finally RCSC terminated us without any benefits. (Letter NO: RCSC/LS/4/2009 dated 30/06/’09)
- We appealed to the High court as per sec 12.5 of BCSRR 2006, page 204 against RCSC’s action citing sec 10.2 of the BCSRR 2006. The High Court rejected our appeal. (Letter No: 3718 dated 6/08/2009)
- We filed the case against RCSC’s action in the Paro District Court but the district court rejected our case. (Letter No: 2639 dated 28/8/2009)