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Follow-up report on the resolution of the 6th Session regarding the Annual Anti-Corruption Commission Report 2020-2021

Posted on :23 June 2022

The House on 10th December 2021 during the Sixth Session directed:

  1. The Chairperson of the Legislative Committee as a member of the National Judicial Commission (NJC) to discuss the institution of a separate bench under the Judiciary for corruption cases and submit a report;
  2. The Prime Minister to report back to the House on the restitution of the outstanding amount of Nu. 412.374M; and
  3. The Good Governance Committee to carry out a study on the issue of manpower and the high attrition rate of employees in the ACC and also report to the House after deliberation on the review report of the Good Governance Committee on the Anti-Corruption Commission’s Annual Report 2020-2021.

On the issue of manpower and the high attrition rate of employees in the ACC, the Chairperson of the Good Governance Committee, member from Khalid-Laya submitted that the Committee conducted several stakeholder meetings with officials from the Anti-Corruption Commission and Royal Civil Service Commission. He submitted that due to the Anti-Corruption (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2021 being a disputed Bill between the two Houses of the Parliament and since the Joint Committee is still working on the Bill in which one of the provisions is concerning human resource, the Committee resolved it doesn’t merit presenting a report on it now as the report might pre-empt the deliberation in the Joint Sitting when the Joint Committee tables its report. The Chairperson submitted that the Committee will take part in the Joint Sitting on the Bill with their findings.  

Regarding the establishment of a designated and separate bench for corruption cases in order to expedite the resolution of corruption cases, the Chairperson of the Legislative Committee, member from Bongo-Chapcha submitted the response from the Judiciary. It was submitted that the Judiciary acknowledges the implication of corruption to the country and for enhancement of good governance, Judiciary has prioritized solving corruption cases. Firstly, the Judiciary did away with the Larger Bench with the objective of shortening the procedure. With this step, almost 497 corruption cases along with other general cases which were pending with the Larger Bench were also completed. The Chairperson also submitted that the corruption cases were given priority, unlike other cases where it had to go through the due procedure in order to get it solved at the earliest. The House was also informed that the main reason why the corruption cases were pending was not because of the high number of cases but due to the complexity of the cases involving huge amounts of money and valuable things, requiring detailed investigation and therefore taking time to produce evidence in the court. It was also submitted that there are 37 courts including the Supreme Court of Bhutan and the High Court whereas there is only 31 corruption-related cases as of now, Hence, it has not reached a stage where it merits separate bench for the corruption-related cases. 

On the restitution of the outstanding amount, the Finance Minister on behalf of the Prime Minister submitted an amount of Nu. 121,366,430.56 were restituted in 2021-2022 and a balance of Nu. 291,038,222.92 as of 1st June 2022  remain to be recovered.  

The reporting on the follow-up report of resolution of the past Sessions to the House was instituted to place accountability and responsibility.

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