The courts do not register cases against defendants or accused if they are untraceable both within and outside the country. That could now change.
According to Member of National Council’s Legislative Committee, Phuntsho Rapten, the current practice if continued could give rise to many other issues, including a huge financial loss to the country
Sub Section 31.2 states: “Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this Code, a court shall accept a case for registration if it’s satisfied that a defendant or accused has knowingly, purposefully or willfully evaded the suit for prosecution.”
Phuntsho Rapten, during the introduction of CCPC 2019 in the House yesterday said that the new sub-section was proposed after the members faced numerous challenges when reviewing the Royal Audit Authority’s Report.
He said that normally the court did not register the case if the defendant or accused was not available during the course of registration.
The committee also proposed replacement of a clause under Judicial Sale, which states: “the Court shall sell the property of a judgment debtor or a person against whom a financial penalty has been awarded by it at a judicial sale in accordance with this Code or other laws and apply the proceeds for the payment thereof to enforce its judgment if the judgment debtor fails to pay, or evades the payment of the debt, or if the person fails to pay, or evades the payment of the financial penalty.”
The committee presented 18 recommendations to the House. Besides the two new clauses, the committee also proposed the removable of three clauses and changed 10 clauses. Three clauses were retained.
A new clause was proposed under the structure of the courts: Section 8 (e), which states that other courts or tribunals, as may be established from time to time by the Druk Gyalpo on the recommendation of the national judicial system.
The committee proposed the removable of High Court from the Power to Make Rules. This means only the Supreme Court has the power to make rules.
Section 101 dealing with professional conduct of Jabmi was proposed for removal.
Chairperson of the committee, Choining Dorji, said that there was a duplication of the clause in CCPC and Jabmi Act 2003.
He said that because there was no Jabmi Act when CCPC was drafted, the clauses were included in the CCPC. “But now that we have the Act, we have to follow it.”
However, some members recommended the inclusion of professional conduct of Jabmi in the CCPC Act considering increasing usage and reach of CCPC than the Jabmi Act. The House decided to add a reference stating that the removable of the clause was due to the existence of the same clause in the Jabmi Act.
The bond amount, which should be fixed at 10 to 30 percent of the income of the surety in the CCPC 2001, was proposed to be fixed as the court considers fit based on the offence for which the accused has been charged or anticipated to be charged.
The House approved all the recommendations of the committee. The House has asked the committee to prepare for the final deliberation.
Bumthang’s NC representative, Nima, proposed a new clause stating that if the Act endorsed by the parliament was not clear to the judiciary during interpretation, there should be a procedure on how the judiciary should contact the House for clarification.
He said that often the judges issued an order when there was difficulty in interpretation. “We have to make clear on procedures for clarification.”
Gasa’s NC representative, Dorji Khandu, also proposed for the amendment of Section 198 (b) of CCPC 2011.
He proposed that the court should grant bail at any stage after the arrest of a suspect if the conditions of bails were fulfilled considering some cases where the suspects were often not found guilty.
The Code does not grant bail to a person who has been charged with an offence of or beyond the felony of second degree.
The committee will discuss the new proposal and present it during the final deliberation.