Dechen Tshomo

National Assembly’s good governance committee will table the Negotiable Instrument (Amendment) Bill 2020 on February 12 for deliberation and endorsement in the House.

Assembly members yesterday voted unanimously to accept the Bill for deliberation.

Following the introduction of the Bill, the committee’s chairman, Lamgong-Wangchang Member of Parliament (MP) Ugyen Tshering said courts refer to the Act to decide on monetary cases.

Ugyen Tshering said that the Royal Monitory Authority and financial institutions were consulted when reviewing the Bill. “There was no issue from the financial institutions because when they receive a cheque and if the details do not match with their records then the banks do not accept.”

The MP said that the main objective for the proposal of Amendment was to make it consistent with Penal Code of Bhutan which the existing Act refers as Thrimzhung Chenmo 1959.

There are only two amendments in the Bill: Section 29B and Section 131 of the Negotiable Instrument Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2000.

Section 29B is in regards to forged or unauthorized signatures and section 131 on dishonour of cheque for insufficiency of funds in the accounts. Both sections state that the penalties for the offences have to as per the provisions of the Thrimzhung Chenmo 1959. The amendment proposes to change it to the Penal Code of Bhutan 2004.

The National Law Review Task Force, which was constituted by the former government during the Third session of the second Parliament recommended harmonising existing laws in line with the Constitution, and consolidation of several laws.

The NA’s Legislative Committee through its review of the report prioritised few laws and presented before the plenary stressing on its urgent need for amendment.

Accordingly, the Bills were distributed amongst the relevant committees to further review and submit a report for deliberation. The good governance committee will submit its report for the deliberation in the House next month.