The 4th National Council session concluded yesterday in the evening after passing the amendment bill (2009) Marriage Act of 1980.
The amendment bill originated in the National Council and sponsored by the Social and Cultural Affairs committee during the 3rd it’s session and forwarded to the Natioal Assembly. Returning to the National Council for it’s finaly deliberation (under normal circumstances), no acceptable reasons had been provided for non-acceptance of the amendment bill. It was also observed that we did not have a clear cut procedure on the withdrawal of bills in the Parliament in Bhutan. Keeping this in mind, the House decided, keeping in mind the importance of not committing a mistake by going out of conventional practise until the procedures were well defined to allowing the National Assembly work on it before re-presenting it to the National Council owing to doubts to the procedural requirements while returning from the National Assembly to the National Council. The joint committee of the 2 Houses managed to present a more comprehensive and detailed bill for re-deliberation in the National Council and thus, it was passed.
Three bills namely the Royal Monetary Authority Amendment Bill (2009), the Standards Bill (2009) and the Tobacco Control Bill (2009) remain to be deliberated in the Joint Sitting of the Parliament, for which necessary protocols have been set into motion.
Slated out for the next session for the National Council are the Penal Code of Bhutan, the Civil and Criminal Procedural Codes and the Anti-Corruption Act which have already been assigned to the Legislative Committee for the former two and the Good Governance Committee for the latter.