National Assembly Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan,2008


Published: 2008

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page

PREAMBLE 1

CHAPTER 1: PRELIMINARY 1

SHORT TITLE, COMMENCEMENT AND EXTENT 1

PROCEDURE IN UNPROVIDED CASES 2

INTERPRETATION CLAUSE 2

REPEAL 2

CHAPTER 2: THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY 2

CHAPTER 3: MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY 3

DISQUALIFICATION 4

ELECTION OF DISQUALIFIED PERSONS 5

RESIGNATION 5

VACANCY 6

BY-ELECTION 6

CHAPTER 4: MEETING OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

SUBSEQUENT TO GENERAL ELECTION 7

SUMMONS TO MEMBERS 7

ELECTION CERTIFICATE 7

OATH OR AFFIRMATION OF OFFICE 8

ORDER OF SITTING 8

ROLL OF MEMBERS 8

CHAPTER 5: ARRANGEMENT OF BUSINESS 8

ORDER OF BUSINESS 8

AGENDA 9

CHAPTER 6: SPEAKER AND DEPUTY SPEAKER 9

ELECTION OF SPEAKER AND DEPUTY SPEAKER 9

CHAPTER 7: ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE

MEMBERS 10

DEDICATION 10

PUBLIC DUTY 10

DUTY AS A REPRESENTATIVE 11

OFFICIAL SECRECY 11

DUTY TO ATTEND MEETINGS 11

DUTIES OF DISCLOSURE 11

CHAPTER 8: SITTINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY 13

SESSION 13

EXTRAORDINARY SESSION 13

OPENING AND CONCLUDING CEREMONY 13

ADDRESS BY THE DRUK GYALPO 14

QUORUM 14

ATTENDANCE 14

REQUEST FOR LEAVE AND ABSENCE 14

LANGUAGE IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY 14

ACCESS OF PUBLIC TO ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS 15

POWER OF THE HOUSE TO COMPEL ATTENDANCE AND

PRODUCTION 15

CHAPTER 9: MESSAGES 16

MESSAGE FROM THE DRUK GYALPO 16

MOTION OF THANKS 16

MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL COUNCIL 16

CHAPTER 10: RULES OF DEBATE AND MAINTENANCE OF

ORDER IN THE HOUSE 17

MEMBER TO ADDRESS CHAIR 17

CALLING OF MEMBERS 17

TIME LIMIT FOR SPEECHES 18

REFERENCE TO MEMBER BY NAME 18

REFLECTIONS UPON JUDGES AND OTHERS 18

MATTERS SUB JUDICE 19

IRRELEVANCE OR REPETITION 19

ORDER AT ADJOURNMENT 19

WITHDRAWAL OF MEMBER 19

SUSPENSION OF MEMBER 19

PERIOD OF SUSPENSION 20

EXPRESSION OF REGRET 20

CHAPTER 11: MOTIONS 20

NATURE OF MOTIONS 20

NOTICE OF MOTIONS 21

ACTING FOR ABSENT MEMBER 21

WITHDRAWAL OF MOTION 21

CHAPTER 12: QUESTIONS 21

TIME OF QUESTION 21

NOTICE OF QUESTIONS 22

QUESTIONS TO SPEAKER 22

RULES FOR QUESTIONS 22

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY 23

ADMISSIBILITY OF QUESTIONS 23

ALTERATION OF QUESTION 23

TIME FOR REPLY 23

SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS 23

CALL FOR DEBATE 24

CHAPTER 13: CALLING ATTENTION 24

CHAPTER 14: STATEMENTS BY CABINET MEMBERS AND

ASSEMBLY MEMBERS 24

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS 24

EXECUTIVE STATEMENTS 25

CHAPTER 15: MOTION OF NO-CONFIDENCE AGAINST

THE GOVERNMENT AND COUNCIL OF

MINISTERS 26

CHAPTER 16: RESOLUTIONS 27

RIGHT TO MOVE RESOLUTION 27

NOTICE OF RESOLUTION 27

FORM OF RESOLUTION 27

ADMISSIBILITY OF RESOLUTIONS 28

SCOPE OF DISCUSSION 28

COPY OF THE RESOLUTION PASSED TO MINISTERS CONCERNED 28

CHAPTER 17: PETITIONS 29

FORM AND CONTENT OF PETITIONS 29

ACTION BY THE HOUSE 30

CHAPTER 18: ADJOURNMENT MOTIONS 31

CHAPTER 19: DECISION AND VOTING 33

PUTTING THE QUESTION 34

DIVISION 34

USE OF ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEM 35

DISSENTING OPINION 35

CHAPTER 20: LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE 35

GENERAL PROVISIONS 35

BILLS ORIGINATING IN THE ASSEMBLY 36

FORMS AND NOTICE OF BILLS 36

PRESENTATION AND FIRST READING 37

PRINTING AND CIRCULATION OF BILLS 38

SECOND READING OF BILLS 38

COMMITTEE STAGE 38

THIRD READING 39

PASSING OF BILLS 40

FURTHER PROCEEDINGS UPON BILLS 41

ASSENT OF BILLS PASSED 42

BILLS RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL COUNCIL 42

MONEY BILLS 42

CHAPTER 21: FINANCIAL PROCEDURE 43

BUDGET 43

CHAPTER 22: REPORTING OF PROCEEDINGS AND

RESOLUTION 44

RECORD OF PROCEEDING 44

DISTRIBUTION OF THE COPIES OF THE RESOLUTION 45

RECORD OF VOTES 45

CHAPTER 23: PRIVILEGES, IMMUNITIES AND

SALARIES 45

FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND DEBATE 45

RIGHT TO INFORMATION 45

GUARANTEE OF ATTENDANCE AT SESSIONS 46

SALARY, ALLOWANCE AND TRAVEL EXPENSES 47

BREACH OF PRIVILEGES 47

CHAPTER 24: CODE OF CONDUCT 49

CONDUCT OF MEMBERS 49

INCOMPATIBLE OFFICES 51

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST 52

COMPLAINTS 52

CHAPTER 25: COMMITTEES 53

STANDING COMMITTEES 53

SELECT OR AD HOC OR SPECIAL COMMITTEES 53

JOINT COMMITTEES 53

PROPOSAL BY COMMITTEE 54

PROCEDURE IN THE COMMITTEES 54

CHAPTER 26: ADMINISTRATION OF THE NATIONAL

ASSEMBLY 54

CHAPTER 27: OFFENCES AND PENALTIES 55

DECISION OF DISQUALIFICATION 56

COMPETENCE OF THE ASSEMBLY 56

HOMOLOGATION 57

CHAPTER 28:MISCELLANEOUS 57

CONTINUATION OF MATTERS 57

REPORTS 58

RULE MAKING POWER 58

CHAPTER 29: AMENDMENT AND AUTHORITATIVE

TEXT 58

AMENDMENT 58

AUTHORITATIVE TEXT 58

PREAMBLE

Whereas, the National Assembly comprising of elected

representatives is one of the houses of the highest legislative

body and the institution through which the interests of the nation

and aspirations of the people are communicated, safeguarded

and fulfilled;

Whereas, the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan provides

for the independence of the National Assembly, which is the

institutional embodiment of Democratic Constitutional

Monarchy; and

Whereas, the success, effectiveness and prestige of

parliamentary institutions rest on its orderly functioning and the

extent to which it adheres to standards of discipline, dignity and

decorum, which are the foundational norms of parliamentary

institution;

Parliament of the Kingdom of Bhutan do hereby enact the

National Assembly Act at its First Session of the First

Parliament as follows:

CHAPTER 1: PRELIMINARY

Short Title, Commencement and Extent

1. This Act shall:

(a) Be called the National Assembly Act of the
Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008;

(b) Come into force on the 11th Day, of 6th Month of
Male Earth Rat Year of the Bhutanese Calendar

corresponding to 12
th

Day of the 8
th

Month of

2008; and

(c) Extend to the whole of the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Procedure in Unprovided Cases

2. In all cases not provided for hereinafter, or by other
Rules and Order of the House, procedural questions shall

be decided by the Speaker, whose decisions shall be

based on the usages, forms, customs and precedents of

the National Assembly so far as they may be applicable

to the House.

Interpretation clause

3. Words and expressions used in the Constitution and also
in this Act shall, unless the context otherwise requires,

have the meanings assigned to them in the Constitution.

Repeal

4. This Act hereby repeals the Chathrim for the Elections of
National Assembly Members, 1995 and any provisions

of law, by-laws, rules or regulations which are

inconsistent with this Act.

CHAPTER 2: THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

5. The National Assembly shall ensure that the Government
safeguards the interests of the nation and fulfills the

aspirations of the people through public review of

policies and issues, Bills and other legislations, and

scrutiny of State functions.

6. The legislative power shall be vested in the National
Assembly with the power to pass laws with the Assent of

the Druk Gyalpo subject, wherever applicable, to the

provisions of the Constitution.

7. The activities of the National Assembly shall be based
on the principles of political pluralism, free discussion of

issues and their settlement by joint efforts.

8. The National Assembly shall continue for five years
from the date of the first sitting. However, premature

dissolution of the National Assembly may take place on

the recommendation of the Prime Minister to the Druk

Gyalpo or in the event of a motion of no confidence vote

against the Government being passed in the National

Assembly or when the National Assembly is dissolved

under Article 15(12) of the constitution of Bhutan.

CHAPTER 3: MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL

ASSEMBLY

9. The National Assembly shall have a maximum of fifty
five members elected by each Dzongkhag in proportion

to its population, provided that no Dzongkhag shall have

less than two members and more than seven members,

for which purpose Parliament shall, by law, provide for

each Dzongkhag to be divided into constituencies

through appropriate delimitation, and for the voters in

each constituency to directly elect one member to the

National Assembly.

10. A person shall not be a member of the National Council
as well as the National Assembly or a Local Government

at the same time.

11. The election of the members of the National Assembly
shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Election

Act of Bhutan.

12. A candidate for the election to the National Assembly
shall be a minimum of twenty-five years and maximum

of sixty-five years of age at the time of filing the

nomination.

13. A member of the National Assembly shall have the
minimum qualification of a formal university degree.

Disqualification

14. A member of the National Assembly shall be
disqualified if the member:

(a) Is married to a person who is not a citizen of
Bhutan;

(b) Is terminated from Public Service;

(c) Is convicted for any criminal offence and
sentenced to imprisonment;

(d) Is in arrears of taxes or other dues to the
Government;

(e) Has failed to lodge accounts of election expenses
within the time and in the manner required by

law without good reason or justification;

(f) Holds any office of profit under the Government,
public companies or corporations;

(g) Fails to give attendance in the House for more
than one fourth of the number of days in a

session, unless excused on that behalf by the

permission of the House;

(h) Commits willful violations of the laws of the
country;

(i) Brings disrepute to the National Assembly by his
or her personal conduct; or

(j) Persistently contravenes the Code of Conduct as
laid down in this Act.

15. Nothing in Section 14 affects any power that the House
has to disqualify a member of the House.

Election of Disqualified Persons

16. A person who is disqualified by a judgment of a court of
competent jurisdiction from being elected to or sitting in

the House, by reason of any violation of any Act of

Parliament relating to elections or to the trial of

controverted elections of members of the Assembly,

shall not be eligible for election as a member of the

Assembly so long as such disqualification continues.

17. If any person by this Act disabled or declared to be
incapable to carry out his or her responsibilities in the

National Assembly is, nevertheless, elected and returned

as a member, such election and return shall be declared

to be void.

Resignation

18. A member may, by writing under his or her hand,
addressed to the Speaker, if the House is in session, or

the Secretary General if the House is not in session,

resign his or her seat therein, and upon the acceptance of

such resignation by the Speaker, the seat of that member

shall become vacant.

19. A member shall not tender resignation of the seat while
the dispute related to election of that person as a member

of the National Assembly is lawfully contested.

Vacancy

20. The seat of a member shall become vacant upon:

(a) Resignation;

(b) Death;

(c) Disqualification or removal; or

(d) The expiration of the term of office.

21. If a member remains absent for more than one-fourth of
the number of days in a session without the permission

of the House, his or her seat shall be declared to be

vacant. In computing the said period of absence, no

account shall be taken of any period during which the

House is prorogued or is adjourned for more than four

consecutive days.

By-Election

22. When the office of a member of the National Assembly
becomes vacant for any reason other than the expiration

of term, a writ for an election to fill the vacancy shall be

issued within one month after the vacancy occurs and an

election of a member to fill the vacancy shall be held

within ninety days as from the date of vacancy.

23. Section 22 shall not apply where a vacancy occurs within
one hundred eighty days before the expiry of the time

limited for the duration of the House by Section 8.

24. If the House is dissolved after the issue of a writ
pursuant to Section 22, such writ shall thereupon be

deemed to have been superseded and withdrawn.

CHAPTER 4: MEETING OF THE NATIONAL

ASSEMBLY SUBSEQUENT TO GENERAL

ELECTION

Summons to Members

25. The Secretary General shall issue summons to each
member specifying the date and place for a session of the

National Assembly.

26. When a session is called at short notice, an
announcement of the date and place of the session may

be made in the media and members may be informed by

the Secretariat.

27. The Secretary General shall inform the Druk Gyalpo of
the date of commencement of every session before

issuing the summons.

Election Certificate

28. When the election of the members of the National
Assembly is determined, the Chief Election

Commissioner shall immediately notify the National

Assembly of such list of elected members.

29. Upon the determination of the election of members of
the National Assembly, the members shall present their

election certificate to the National Assembly Secretariat

for registration.

30. A member whose right to hold office has been
questioned shall however, remain in office until declared

ineligible for office.

Oath or Affirmation of Office

31. The members of the National Assembly shall take an
Oath or Affirmation of Office as provided in the Third

Schedule of the Constitution, before assuming their

responsibilities.

Order of Sitting

32. The members shall sit in such order and at such place as
the Speaker and the Secretary General may determine.

Roll of Members

33. There shall be a Roll of Members of the National
Assembly which shall be signed in the presence of the

Secretary General by each member before taking his or

her seat.

CHAPTER 5: ARRANGEMENT OF BUSINESS

Order of Business

34. The business of each sitting other than a sitting under
Chapter 8 shall be in accordance with the Rules made

under this Act.

Agenda

35. The Agenda of the House shall be decided by the
Speaker in consultation with the Secretary General. All

items of business for a sitting of which notice has been

given shall be placed on the Agenda for that sitting in

such order as prescribed by the Rules.

36. The Agenda shall be prepared by the Secretary General
and a copy thereof shall be made available for the use of

every member.

CHAPTER 6: SPEAKER AND DEPUTY

SPEAKER

Election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker

37. At the first sitting after any general election, or when
necessary to fill a vacancy, the National Assembly shall

elect a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker from among its

members. However, during an extraordinary session, the

Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the immediately

preceding regular session shall serve as Speakers.

38. The Druk Gyalpo shall, by warrant under His hand and
seal, confer Dakyen to the Speaker.

39. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker shall take an Oath
or Affirmation of Secrecy as provided in the Fourth

Schedule of the Constitution, before assuming office.

40. The Speaker’s Act of the National Assembly of Bhutan,
as enacted by Parliament shall govern the election,

powers, functions, responsibilities and other matters

relating to the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.

41. The Speaker shall remain non-partisan in the fulfillment
of his or her role.

CHAPTER 7: ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITY OF

THE MEMBERS

Dedication

42. A member shall place highest importance to serving The
Tsawa-Sum with utmost loyalty and dedication and

fulfill his or her responsibilities by following the highest

moral principles.

43. The members of the National Assembly shall be
representative of all the people and shall in the

performance of their duties be guided by the objectives

of the Constitution, by the public interest and by their

conscience.

Public Duty

44. Every member shall have duty to be faithful and bear
true allegiance to the Druk Gyalpo, His heirs and

successors.

45. The members shall have a duty to be faithful and bear
true allegiance to the Kingdom of Bhutan and to

preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and to

uphold the laws and act on all occasions in accordance

with the public trust placed upon him or her.

Duty as a Representative

46. The members are accountable to the people at all times.
They shall perform their legislative mandates with

utmost competence, efficiency, effectiveness, integrity

and fidelity to the people’s welfare and the national

interest.

47. Members shall have a duty to be accessible to the people
of the areas for which they have been elected to serve

and to represent their interests conscientiously.

Official Secrecy

48. The members are bound by official secrecy in the event
that, through their official activities, they acquire

knowledge of information that must be kept secret or

confidential in order to safeguard national interests.

Duty to Attend Meetings

49. The members are obliged to attend the meetings of the
Assembly and committees.

Duties of Disclosure

50. On assuming office and at the start of every year, each
member shall inform in writing to the Secretariat about

his or her:

(a) Bio-data and educational qualifications;

(b) Occupation, trade, profession or vocation;

(c) Positions (whether remunerated or not) held in,
or membership of corporations, associations or

other institutions and bodies;

(d) Income, asset and liability as per Anti Corruption
Act;

(e) Transfers of property to relatives or other persons
by, or under arrangements made by him;

(f) Agreements pursuant to which, during or after his
or her membership, a member is to be assigned

certain activities or granted pecuniary benefits;

and

(g) Activities pursued in addition to his or her
occupation and mandate, in particular the

delivery of expert opinions, writing and lecturing.

51. The Secretariat shall maintain a public register
containing the information provided by the members.

52. The Secretariat shall take reasonable steps to make sure
that the personal information they collect or use or

disclose is accurate, complete and up to date.

53. If a member contravenes Section 50, the National
Assembly may declare his or her seat vacant.

54. A member shall not resort to any form of fund raising
from individuals or any agency.

55. Gifts of pecuniary value which a member receives either
as guest or host in connection with his or her mandate

shall be governed by the rules prescribed by Anti

Corruption Commission.

56. The Secretary General shall, in consultation with the
Speaker take a decision on the use of declared gifts

which a member has received.

CHAPTER 8: SITTINGS OF THE NATIONAL

ASSEMBLY

Session

57. The National Assembly shall assemble at least twice a
year.

Extraordinary Session

58. The Speaker shall convene an extraordinary sitting of the
National Assembly on the Command of the Druk Gyalpo

if the exigencies of the situation so demand.

59. During an extraordinary session, the National Assembly
may consider only those matters for which it has been

convened or matters that are connected thereto.

Opening and Concluding Ceremony

60. At the commencement of each session of Parliament, the
Druk Gyalpo shall be received in a joint sitting of

Parliament with Chibdrel Ceremony. Each session shall

be opened with a Zhug-drel-phunsum tsho-pai ten-drel

and each session shall conclude with the Tashi-mon-lam.

Address by the Druk Gyalpo

61. The Druk Gyalpo may address or sit in the proceedings
of the House as and when deemed expedient.

62. No motion for the adjournment of the House shall be
made on the day the Druk Gyalpo addresses or sits in the

House.

Quorum

63. The presence of not less than two-thirds of the total
number of members shall constitute a quorum for a

sitting of the National Assembly.

64. If the number of members present falls short of the
quorum as referred to in Section 63, the Speaker may

declare an adjournment of the meeting.

Attendance

65. Before taking his or her seat in the National Assembly,
each member shall note his or her attendance in the Roll

of Members.

Request for Leave and Absence

66. A member who wishes to absent himself from sittings of
the House, or any other Parliamentary forum of which he

or she is a member, shall, before so absenting himself or

herself, submit to the Speaker a written request for

taking leave.

Language in the National Assembly

67. The proceedings and business in the National Assembly
shall be conducted in Dzongkha.

Access of Public to Assembly Proceedings

68. The Proceedings of the National Assembly shall be
conducted in Public. However the Speaker may exclude

the media and the public from all or any part of the

proceedings if there is a compelling need to do so in the

interest of public order, national security or any other

situation, where publicity would seriously prejudice

public interest.

69. An individual who participates in a proceeding held in
camera shall be obliged to preserve secrecy with regard

to the proceedings thereof.

70. The use of sound or image broadcasts from the
Assembly Hall, as well as the accreditation of the

journalists shall be regulated by Rules made by the

House on that behalf.

Power of the House to compel attendance and Production

71. The House may at all times command and compel the
attendance before the House, or before any committee,

of such persons and the production of such papers and

items as the House or committee deems necessary for

any of its proceedings or deliberations.

72. Whenever the House requires the attendance of any
person before the House or before any committee, the

Speaker may issue a warrant, directed to that person

named in the order of the House, requiring the

attendance of such person before the House or

committee, and the production of such papers and items

as are ordered.

CHAPTER 9: MESSAGES

Message from the Druk Gyalpo

73. The Druk Gyalpo may send messages to the National
Assembly as and when deemed expedient.

74. Where a message from the Druk Gyalpo is received by
the Speaker, he or she shall read the message to the

House and give necessary directions in regard to the

procedure that shall be followed for the consideration of

matters referred to in the message.

75. The House shall, as early as possible, consider the matter
referred to in the message and submit its opinion to the

Druk Gyalpo.

76. For the purpose of this Chapter, the Speaker shall be
empowered to suspend or vary any provisions of this Act

and any Rules made there under to such extent as may be

necessary.

Motion of Thanks

77. At the conclusion of His Majesty’s address or message, a
member each from either party shall move a motion of

thanks.

78. The communication from the National Assembly to the
Druk Gyalpo shall be made by formal address through

the Speaker.

Message from the National Council

79. A message from the National Council shall, at the first
convenient opportunity be communicated to the House

by the Speaker.

80. In case of special urgency, any business in progress, on
the receipt of such message, may be interrupted to

consider the message so received.

81. If a message from the Council requires any action to be
taken or any matter referred by the Assembly, it shall be

immediately set down on the Agenda and shall be

considered thereafter.

CHAPTER 10: RULES OF DEBATE AND

MAINTENANCE OF ORDER IN THE HOUSE

Member to Address Chair

82. Members shall speak standing at their places and shall
address their remarks solely and directly to the Chair.

They may not address other members, individuals in the

gallery, or persons who might be observing through the

media.

Calling of Members

83. Every member desiring to speak on an issue shall notify
the Speaker in advance and obtain his or her permission.

84. A member shall be called in a debate by the Speaker in
accordance with the list of members who are to speak in

the debate.

85. A member who has not received a notification to speak
may do so only with the permission of the Speaker.

86. Every member desiring to speak shall raise their hand
and when called upon shall address his or her

observations to the Chair.

87. If two or more members raise their hands at the same
time, the Speaker shall call upon the member who first

catches his or her eye.

Time Limit for Speeches

88. The time limit for speeches shall be regulated by the
Rules.

Reference to Member by Name

89. Members shall refer to other members by constituency
and not by name.

Reflections upon Judges and Others

90. No member shall reflect upon the competence or honour
of a judge of the High Court and the Supreme Court, or

of the holder of a constitutional office whose removal

from such office is dependent upon a decision of the

House, except upon a substantive motion alleging facts,

which, if true, would in the opinion of the Speaker prima

facie warrant such a decision.

91. Members shall refrain from referring to individual
members of the National Council, characterizing the

action or inaction of the National Council, or quoting

National Council proceedings, except to make legislative

history on a measure then under debate.

92. Members shall at all times refrain from speaking
disrespectfully of His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo.

Matters Sub Judice

93. Members shall refrain from referring to any matter in
relation to which legal proceedings are active.

Irrelevance or Repetition

94. The Speaker, after having called attention to the conduct
of a member who persists in irrelevance or repetition of

arguments, may direct the member to discontinue his or

her speech.

Order at Adjournment

95. When a meeting adjourns, members shall rise and remain
in their places until the Speaker has left the Chamber.

Withdrawal of Member

96. If the Speaker is of the opinion that a member is
deliberately contravening a provision of this Act, or that

a member is in contempt of or is disregarding the

authority of the Chair, or that a member’s conduct is

grossly disorderly, the member shall be made to

withdraw immediately from the House for the remainder

of the day’s sitting.

Suspension of Member

97. If the Speaker is of the opinion that a contravention
committed by a member is of a serious nature and that an

order to withdraw from the House for the day’s sitting is

inadequate, the Speaker may suspend the member.

Period of Suspension

98. The suspension of a member shall on the first occasion
during a session continue for five working days, on the

second occasion for ten working days, and on any

subsequent occasion for twenty working days.

Expression of Regret

99. A member who has been suspended may submit to the
Speaker a written expression of regret, and if the Speaker

approves such expression of regret, the member shall be

permitted to take his or her seat, and the Speaker shall

inform the House accordingly.

100. An expression of regret approved by the Speaker shall be
recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings.

CHAPTER 11: MOTIONS

Nature of Motions

101. A member may propose a subject for discussion, or a
draft resolution for approval as a resolution of the House.

102. No matter shall be proposed for discussion which is the
same in substance as a matter that has been discussed

during the same session.

Notice of Motions

103. Every motion shall require notice. When giving a notice
of motion, a member shall read it aloud and deliver at the

Table a signed copy of the notice or deliver to the

Secretary General a signed copy of the notice for placing

on the Agenda of the second sitting day.

104. Except with the unanimous concurrence of all the
members present, no motion shall be moved on the day

on which notice thereof is given.

Acting for Absent Member

105. A member may give notice of a motion on behalf of an
absent member, provided he or she has been authorized

to do so in writing by the absent member.

Withdrawal of Motion

106. A member who has moved a motion may move without
notice that it be withdrawn.

CHAPTER 12: QUESTIONS

Time of Question

107. The asking and answering of questions shall be at such
times and for such duration as the National Assembly

deems expedient.

Notice of Questions

108. A member who wishes to ask a question shall give not
less than two days notice of his or her intention and

shall, together with the notice, submit a copy of the

question he or she wishes to ask, unless the Speaker with

the consent of the Minister concerned allows the

question to be asked at shorter notice.

109. Notice of question shall be given in writing to the
Secretary General and shall specify the official

designation of the Minister to whom the question is

addressed.

110. Questions may be put to a member, not being a Minister,
relating to any Bill, motion, or other public matter

connected with the business of the House.

Questions to Speaker

111. Questions without notice may be put to the Speaker
relating to any matter of administration for which the

Speaker is responsible.

Rules for Questions

112. The questions should not contain:

(a) imputations;

(b) epithets;

(c) defamatory statements;

(d) hypothetical matter; and

(e) proceedings in committee not reported to the
House.

Questions for Oral Reply

113. A member who wants an oral reply to a question must
write the words “for oral reply” on the notice of the

question delivered to the Secretary General under

Section 109 and if the member does not distinguish the

question, it shall be placed on the list of questions for

written answers.

Admissibility of Questions

114. The Speaker shall decide on the admissibility of a
question and may disallow any question or a part thereof,

which in his or her opinion, is in contravention of this

Act.

Alteration of Question

115. The Speaker may direct that the language of a question
be changed if it seems to the Speaker unbecoming or not

in conformity with this Act.

Time for Reply

116. The Speaker shall give adequate time to the concerned
ministry or organization, as the case may be, for

furnishing the reply to the questions.

Supplementary Questions

117. When a question has been answered, any member may
ask such supplementary questions as may be necessary

for the elucidation of the answer.

Call for Debate

118. If a member is not satisfied with the answer, he may,
with the permission of the Speaker, call a debate in the

National Assembly.

CHAPTER 13: CALLING ATTENTION

119. A member may, with the previous permission of the
Speaker, call the attention of a Minister to any matter of

urgent public importance.

120. The Minister may make a brief statement or ask for time
to make a statement at a later hour or date.

121. No member shall give more than two such notices for
any one sitting.

CHAPTER 14: STATEMENTS BY CABINET

MEMBERS AND ASSEMBLY MEMBERS

122. The Speaker, in consultation with the Prime Minister, the
Leader of the Opposition Party and the Secretary

General shall allot three sittings in a week to take

statements from the Cabinet members and Assembly

members.

Statements by Members

123. A member, other than a Minister, may be recognized by
the Speaker to make a statement on any matter for such

duration as the Speaker may determine.

124. Members of each party shall be entitled to make a
number of statements but the members of the Opposition

Party shall be given preference to participate in a manner

consistent with democracy.

125. At the conclusion of statements by members, a Minister
present may be given an opportunity to respond to any

statement directed to that Minister or made in respect of

that Minister’s portfolio.

126. In the absence of a Minister who may respond to a
statement as envisaged in Section 125, a Minister from

the Lhengye Zhungtshog may be given an opportunity to

respond on behalf of the absent Minister.

Executive Statements

127. A Cabinet member may make a factual or policy
statement relating to government policy, any executive

action or other similar matter of which the Assembly

should be informed.

128. Whenever possible, a copy of an executive statement
must be delivered to the Leader of the Opposition Party

at or before the time the statement is made in the

Assembly.

129. Following any executive statement, a member or
members of each of the parties may comment on the

executive statement, commencing with the Opposition

Party.

CHAPTER 15: MOTION OF NO-CONFIDENCE AGAINST

THE GOVERNMENT AND COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

130. A motion of no confidence against the Government may
be moved by not less than one-third of the total number

of members of the National Assembly.

131. The motion of no confidence shall not be voted on until
ten days after it has been moved.

132. A vote of no confidence against the Government, if
passed by not less than two-thirds of the total number of

members of the National Assembly, shall require the

Government to be dismissed by the Druk Gyalpo.

133. A motion of no confidence against the Minister shall be
moved by not less than one-third of the total members of

the National Assembly by a written notice to the

Secretary General.

134. The vote of no confidence on a Minister should be
explicit, direct and on the basis of well founded reasons.

135. The Speaker shall read the motion to the House. If the
House is in favour of leave being granted to introduce

the motion, the Speaker shall declare that leave is

granted and shall appoint a day or days, not being more

than seven days from the date on which the leave is

asked, for the discussion of the motion.

136. During the debate, the Speaker shall put every question
necessary to determine the decision of the House on the

motion

.

137. If the House passes a two-third majority of vote of no
confidence in a Minister thereof, the Prime Minister shall

recommend the removal of that Minister to the Druk

Gyalpo.

138. A Minister who has resigned may, with the consent of
the Speaker, make a personal statement in explanation of

his or her resignation on any day during the session in

which the resignation has been accepted by the Druk

Gyalpo.

139. There shall be no debate on such statement.

CHAPTER 16: RESOLUTIONS

Right to Move Resolution

140. A member may move a resolution relating to a matter of
general public interest.

Notice of Resolution

141. A member who wishes to move a resolution shall give
not less than three day’s notice of his or her intention,

and shall submit, together with the notice, a copy of the

resolution which he or she intends to move.

Form of Resolution

142. A resolution may be:

(a) in the form of a declaration of opinion, or a
recommendation;

(b) in the form so as to record either approval or
disapproval by the House of an act or policy of

the Government;

(c) a request for an action;

(d) a call to attention to a matter or situation for
consideration by the Government; or

(e) such other form as the Speaker may consider
appropriate.

Admissibility of Resolutions

143. The Speaker may disallow any resolution or a part
thereof, if, in his or her opinion, it does not comply with

this Act or is an abuse of the right of moving a

resolution.

Scope of discussion

144. The discussion on a resolution shall be strictly limited to
the subject-matter of the resolution.

Copy of the resolution passed to Ministers concerned

145. A copy of every resolution which has been passed by the
House shall be forwarded to the Minister concerned.

146. The Minister concerned shall inform Parliament in the
next Session, if not earlier, of the action, if any, taken by

Government on a resolution passed by the House.

CHAPTER 17: PETITIONS

Form and content of Petitions

147. A petition may be presented or submitted to the House
by a member, and must show on its face the name of the

member by whom it is presented.

148. A petition may also be forwarded to the Secretary
General who shall report it to the House.

149. Petitions must be submitted for approval by the
Secretary General at least one sitting day prior to the

petition being presented in the Assembly.

150. Petitions shall contain and refer to:

(a) any matter connected with the business pending
before the House;

(b) a matter which is within the power of the House
to address;

(c) any matter of general public interest provided
that it is not one for which remedy is available

under the law, including Royal Prerogatives,

rules, regulations, bye-laws made by the

Government; or

(d) a request for the House to take one or more
specified actions.

151. Every petition shall be in original and printed or type
written on paper.

152. A member presenting a petition shall confine himself or
herself to a brief statement of the persons from whom it

comes, the number of signatures attached to it and the

material submissions contained in it, and to reading the

request of the petition.

153. A member shall not present a petition for himself.

154. Every petition shall be properly addressed to the House,
shall be respectful, and temperate in its language, and

shall conclude with a request setting forth the specific

object of the petition, or the nature of the relief sought.

155. The full name and address of every signatory to a
petition shall be set out therein and shall be authenticated

by his or her signature.

156. No letter, affidavit or other document shall be attached to
a petition, and no erasure or interlineations shall be made

to a petition.

157. No petition shall be received which requests that
provision be made for imposing, increasing or reducing

any tax or for imposing, increasing or reducing any

charge on the revenue or the Consolidated Fund of

Bhutan.

Action by the House

158. No discussion on the subject matter of a petition shall be
allowed at the time of presentation.

159. Every petition shall, after presentation by a member or
report by the Secretary General as the case may be, stand

referred to a committee.

160. The committee shall examine the petition and if the
petition complies with this Act, the committee may

direct that it be circulated.

161. It shall be the duty of the committee to report to the
House on specific complaints made in the petition

referred to it after taking such evidence as it deems fit

and to suggest remedial measures to prevent such cases

in future.

162. The Minister responsible for the administration of the
matter which is the subject of the petition may respond

to the petition.

CHAPTER 18: ADJOURNMENT MOTIONS

163. A member may rise in his or her place and ask leave to
move adjournment of the business of the House for the

purpose of discussing a definite matter of public

importance.

164. A member who wishes to ask leave to move the
adjournment of the business of the House shall, before

the commencement of the sitting and before 10.00 hours,

hand to the Speaker a written notification of the matter

which he or she wishes to discuss.

165. The right to move the adjournment of the House for the
purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public

importance shall be subject to the following restrictions:

(a) the matter proposed for discussion must be one
that calls for immediate and urgent

consideration;

(b) not more than one such motion shall be made at
the same sitting;

(c) not more than one matter shall be discussed on
the same motion;

(d) the motion shall be restricted to a specific matter
of recent occurrence involving the responsibility

of the Government;

(e) the motion shall not revive discussion on a matter
which has been discussed in the same session;

(f) the motion shall not raise a question of privilege;
and

(g) the motion shall not deal with any matter which
is under adjudication by a court of law.

166. The Speaker may refuse to grant leave unless he or she is
satisfied that the matter is definite, and of urgent public

importance and may properly be raised on a motion for

the adjournment of the House.

167. In determining whether a matter should have urgent
consideration, the Speaker shall have regard to:-

(a) the extent to which it concerns the administrative
responsibilities of the Government or could come

within the scope of Ministerial action; and

(b) the probability of the matter being brought before
the House within a reasonable time by other

means.

168. The motion shall not be subject to debate or amendment.

169. A motion for the adjournment of the business of the
House under this Chapter must be supported by not less

than half of total members of the National Assembly.

170. If the leave is granted, any proceedings on which the
House is engaged on that day shall be postponed until

the motion for the adjournment is disposed.

171. No adjournment motion shall be taken up on the day of
the Druk Gyalpo’s Address. Notices received for that

day shall be treated as notices for the next sitting.

172. Any proceeding which has been postponed under this
Chapter shall be continued for a period of time equal to

the duration of the proceedings upon a motion under this

Chapter and may be resumed and proceeded with or after

the time fixed for the adjournment of the House.

CHAPTER 19: DECISION AND VOTING

173. A matter requiring the decision of the House shall be
decided by means of a question put by the Speaker on a

motion made by a member.

174. Except as otherwise prescribed by the Constitution and
this Act, all questions proposed for decision of the House

shall be determined by a majority of votes of the

members present and voting.

175. A member having any interest in any matter before the
House shall declare the nature of his or her interest in the

matter and shall not vote on any question relating to that

matter.

176. Only members have a right to vote in the decision of the
National Assembly.

177. A member is entitled to one vote per proposal and the
right to vote shall not be exercised by proxy.

Putting the Question

178. On the conclusion of the debate, the Speaker shall put
the question and first call upon those members who are

in favour of the question to raise their hand, and shall

then call upon those who are against the question to raise

their hand.

179. The Speaker shall then, on account being taken, state
whether or not he or she thinks the required majority of

the members present are in favour of the question and,

subject to any challenges, the Speaker shall declare the

question to have been so decided. In such a case, the

names of the voters shall not be recorded.

180. If the opinion of the Speaker as to the decision of a
question is challenged by claiming a division, the

Speaker shall order the House and committees to

proceed to a division. The division bell shall be rung to

alert and summon the members for the division.

Division

181. When a division has been ordered, the Clerk shall supply
to each member at his or her seat, a “YES”, “NO’ and

“ABSTAIN” slips, according to the choice indicated by

the member. A member shall sign and record his or her

vote on the slip.

182. After the members have recorded their votes, the Clerk
shall collect the slips and bring them to the Table in the

presence of the Assembly members where the votes shall

be counted and the results shall be presented to the

Speaker.

183. The result of the division shall be announced by the
Speaker and it shall not be challenged.

Use of Electronic Voting System

184. Unless the Speaker otherwise directs, where an
electronic system of voting is provided in the House, it

shall be put into operation and the members shall cast

their votes from the seats respectively by pressing the

buttons provided for the purpose.

185. After the result of the voting appears on the indicator
board, the result of the division shall be announced by

the Speaker and it shall not be challenged.

Dissenting Opinion

186. Any member who does not concur with a decision shall
have the right to enter his or her dissenting opinion in the

minutes. However, no further debate on such an opinion

shall be permitted.

CHAPTER 20: LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE

General Provisions

187. A Bill passed by Parliament shall come into force upon
Assent of the Druk Gyalpo.

188. A Bill pending in either House shall not lapse by reason
of the prorogation of either House.

189. A Bill shall be passed by a simple majority of the total
number of members of the National Assembly.

190. At any stage of a Bill which is under discussion in the
House, the member in charge of a Bill may move for

leave to withdraw the Bill.

191. The Secretary General shall publish a notice in the
Gazette stating that the proposed legislation has been

withdrawn.

192. All Bills before the Assembly or any committee on the
last sitting day of a term of the Assembly or when the

Assembly is dissolved shall lapse at the end of that day.

193. When a Bill has been passed or has been rejected during
a session in any year, no Bill of the same substance may

be introduced in the Assembly in that year except by

leave of the Assembly.

Bills Originating in the Assembly

Forms and notice of Bills

194. Any member may move for leave to introduce a Bill of
which he has given notice.

195. The period of notice of a motion for leave to introduce a
Bill shall be one month unless the Speaker allows the

motion to be made at shorter notice.

196. The member shall submit to the Secretariat a copy of the
Bill along with the Statement of Objects and Reasons,

Memorandum regarding delegated legislation and

Financial Memorandum.

197. The Bill must be signed by the member introducing it
and may also be signed by any other member or

members who support the Bill.

198. A member presenting a Bill shall be known throughout
the subsequent proceedings on the Bill as the member in

charge of the Bill. In the case of a Bill introduced jointly

by more than one member, these members shall

designate among themselves a member as the member in

charge of the Bill at the time of presenting the Bill.

199. The Bill shall be placed on the Agenda of the Assembly
for first reading.

Presentation and First Reading

200. When a motion for leave to introduce a Bill is opposed,
the Speaker may permit an explanatory statement from

the member who moves and from the member who

opposes the motion. The Speaker shall, without further

debate put to question the motion to introduce the Bill.

201. If leave to introduce the Bill is given, an order shall be
made for its second reading on such sitting day as the

member presenting it shall name and the Bill shall be

ordered to be printed.

202. An interval of not less than five days shall elapse
between the first and second readings of a Bill, unless

the House on motion made agree to proceed with the Bill

at any earlier date.

Printing and Circulation of Bills

203. The Secretary General shall be responsible for the
printing of Bills. As soon as possible after the printing of

a Bill, the Secretary General shall circulate a copy to

every member, together with any explanatory statement

provided by the member in charge of the bill.

204. The Secretary General shall as soon as possible cause
every Bill to be published in the Official Gazette.

Second Reading of Bills

205. No Bill shall be read a second time until it has been
printed and circulated to members and has been

published in the Official Gazette.

206. On a motion that the Bill be read a second time being
made, the general merits and principle of the Bill may be

discussed but the details of the Bill shall not be discussed

further than is necessary to explain the principles.

207. When a Bill has been read a second time it shall be
referred to the Legislative Committee or some other

committee, unless the Assembly, on a motion which may

be moved without any notice by any member, otherwise

orders.

208. The Assembly may, while committing the Bill to the
Committee, fix the date for commencement of the

proceedings in the committee and for submitting its

report to the Assembly.

Committee Stage

209. The Committee to which the Bill is referred shall not
discuss the merits of the Bill, but only its details.

210. The Committee shall examine every clause thereof and it
shall have the power to make such amendments to the

Bill as the Committee thinks fit, but the amendments

must be relevant to the subject matter of the Bill and

consistent with its nature and purpose.

211. When all the proceedings upon the Bill have been
concluded, the Committee shall report the Bill to the

House with or without amendments as the case may be.

Third Reading

212. When a Bill has been reported from the Committee, the
Assembly shall be deemed to have ordered the Bill to be

set down for third reading and the notice of motion for

third reading shall not be required to be given by the

member in charge of the Bill.

213. If any member desires to delete or amend any provision
contained in a Bill as reported from the Committee, the

member may move that the Bill be recommitted either

wholly or in respect only of some particular amendment

or amendments.

214. The consideration of the Bill as reported from the
Committee shall commence upon the lapse of three days

following the day on which such report is laid on the

Table of the Assembly.

215. Every member may, by giving one day notice, hand in to
the Secretariat a copy of any amendment he may wish to

move thereto.

216. Such amendments proposed to be moved by a member
shall be within the scope of the Bill and shall not relate

to grammatical and clerical errors.

217. The Speaker may refuse to propose an amendment which
is, in his or her opinion, frivolous or meaningless.

218. The Secretariat shall, if time permits, make available to
the members from time to time lists of amendments of

which notices have been received.

219. During the debate on the Bill, the Speaker may submit
the Bill to the House clause by clause and put questions

on the clauses and amendments severally. However, in

order to save time and repetition of arguments, a single

discussion may be allowed to cover series of clauses and

amendments.

220. When the debate has concluded and amendments to the
Bill has been incorporated, the member in charge may

move a motion that the Bill be passed. However, the

motion shall not be moved on the same day on which

debate on the Bill is concluded.

Passing of Bills

221. The debate on a motion that the Bill be passed shall be
confined to the submission of arguments either in

support or for the rejection of the Bill. The members

shall not refer to the details of the Bill further than is

necessary for the purpose of his or her arguments.

222. Where a Bill is passed by the House, the Speaker shall
have the power to correct patent, clerical or

typographical errors in the Bill.

223. When a Bill other than money Bill is passed by the
National Assembly, it shall be presented to the National

Council within thirty days from the date of passing.

Further Proceedings upon Bills

224. If a Bill passed by the Assembly and transmitted to the
Council is neither passed nor returned to the Assembly

by the end of the next session, the Bill shall be deemed

to have been passed by the Council which shall then be

presented to the Druk Gyalpo for Assent within fifteen

days.

225. If a Bill other than money Bill passed by the Assembly
and transmitted to the National Council is passed by the

Council without amendment, the message received from

the Council to that effect shall be reported to the House.

226. If a Bill other than money Bill passed by the Assembly
and transmitted to the Council is returned with

amendments, the member in charge of the Bill may

move for the consideration of the said amendments

forthwith or on future date.

227. Upon consideration of the amendments, the House may
agree, or disagree or make amendments thereto, or may

propose amendments in lieu thereof. However, only

those amendments which are relevant and consequential

to the subject matter of an amendment made by the

Council shall be proposed or moved.

228. If the Assembly agrees to the amendments made by the
Council, a message to that effect shall be sent to the

Council. However, if the Assembly disagrees or refuses

to incorporate the amendments, the Bill shall be

submitted to the Druk Gyalpo who shall then command

the Houses to deliberate and vote on the Bill in a joint

sitting.

Assent of Bills Passed

229. When a Bill is passed by the Houses and is in possession
of the Assembly, the Bill shall be signed by the Speaker

and submitted to the Druk Gyalpo for Assent within

fifteen days from the date of passing of the Bill.

230. One copy of the Bill so Assented to by the Druk Gyalpo
shall be preserved for verification and record and shall

not be allowed to pass out of the House without the

permission of the Speaker.

Bills Received From the National Council

231. Where a Bill has been presented to the Assembly after it
has been introduced and passed by the National Council,

the National Assembly may pass that Bill no later than

the next session of the National Assembly. In case of

Urgent Bills, they shall be passed in the ongoing session

of the National Assembly.

232. A Bill originating in the National Council and presented
to the Assembly shall, as soon as possible, be laid on the

Table and set down in the Agenda.

233. Once the Bill is set down in the Agenda, the proceedings

on the Bill shall be as provided in Sections 200 to 223 of
this Act.

Money Bills

234. Money Bills and Financial Bills shall originate only in
the National Assembly.

235. Only the Finance Minister may introduce a Money Bill
in the Assembly.

236. The Finance Minister shall deliver an introductory
speech in the Assembly on the appointed day.

237. When a Money Bill passed by the National Assembly is
presented to the National Council, the Speaker shall

endorse that it is a Money Bill.

238. If any question arises whether a Bill is a Money Bill or
not, the decision of the Speaker thereon shall be final.

CHAPTER 21: FINANCIAL PROCEDURE

239. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this
Chapter, the procedure in regard to Appropriation Bill

and Supplementary Appropriation Bill shall be the same

as for Bills generally with such modifications as the

Speaker may consider necessary.

240. The Budget, Appropriation Bill and Supplementary
Appropriation Bill shall not be referred to any

committee.

Budget

241. The Finance Minister shall, in respect of each financial
year, present to the House the annual budget along with a

report on the budget of the previous fiscal year.

242. The Budget shall be presented to the House in such form
as the Finance Minister may consider suitable.

243. On the day to be appointed by the Speaker, in
consultation with the Leader of the House and for such

times as the Speaker may allot for this purpose, the

House shall be at liberty to discuss the budget as a whole

or any principles of Government policy and

administration as indicated in and by the budget.

244. The Finance Minister shall have the right of reply at the
end of the discussion.

245. The Speaker shall allot so many days as may be
compatible with the public interest for the discussion and

voting on the budget.

246. The Finance Minister may, from time to time, introduce
in the House a Supplementary Appropriation Bill which

shall be discussed and voted on by the National

Assembly.

CHAPTER 22: REPORTING OF

PROCEEDINGS AND RESOLUTION

Record of Proceeding

247. The Secretariat shall draw up records of proceedings at
each sitting of the National Assembly and it shall ensure

that the reports of the proceedings are verbatim. This

report shall be known as Official Report of the National

Assembly.

248. The Official Report shall contain all the items of
business taken up by the Assembly and it shall be

recorded according to the Agenda.

249. The Secretary General shall submit the report of
resolutions to the National Assembly for endorsement

wherein a member may bring to the notice of the

National Assembly any patent error, which shall stand

corrected but such resolutions once adopted shall not be

permitted for deliberation.

Distribution of the Copies of the Resolution

250. Soon after the adoption of the resolution, the Secretariat
shall distribute copies of the resolution to the members

and other officials, ministries and departments.

Record of Votes

251. The Secretary General shall cause the votes of each
member to be recorded and disclose such records, except

in the case of voting through a secret ballot.

252. The casting of votes to elect, remove or give approval to
a person for holding office shall be through a secret

ballot.

CHAPTER 23: PRIVILEGES, IMMUNITIES AND

SALARIES

Freedom of Speech and debate

253. There shall be freedom of speech and debate in or before
the National Assembly and any committee thereof, or

any joint committee of Parliament, subject only to the

restrictions placed on such freedom in terms of or under

the Constitution and this Act.

Right to Information

254. A member shall have the right to be provided with
information by the Government and to inspect

documents on any matter of relevance to the exercise of

his or her Parliamentary mandates.

Guarantee of Attendance at Sessions

255. The members of the National Assembly or any
Committee thereof shall be immune from any inquiry,

arrest, detention or prosecution on account of any

opinion expressed in the course of the discharge of their

functions or vote cast and no person shall be liable in

respect of any report, paper or proceedings made or

published under the authority of National Assembly.

256. The immunities herein granted shall not cover corrupt
acts committed by the members in connection with the

discharge of their duties or cover other acts of accepting

money or any other valuables in consideration to speak

or to vote in a particular manner.

257. Without prejudice to Section 256, no member shall be
liable to arrest or detention during any session of the

National Assembly, or during the fifteen days preceding

or the fifteen days following such session without the

permission of the Speaker.

258. Section 257 shall not apply to a precautionary arrest due
to a risk of absconding or in the event of the member

being caught in the act of committing a felony.

259. A member shall be exempted from appearing as a
witness in court or before any body or person

empowered to summon witnesses while the Assembly or

a committee or sub-committee in whose work he or she

is taking part is sitting, and during the two preceding and

two following days.

260. The Speaker may exempt personnel of the National
Assembly Secretariat from appearing as a witness in a

court, or before any body or person empowered to

summon witnesses where he considers his or her

presence is required for the proper functioning of the

Assembly and its services.

Salary, Allowance and Travel Expenses

261. Salary, Allowances, benefits and other emoluments of
the members of the National Assembly shall be in

accordance with the Parliamentary Entitlements Act of

the Kingdom of Bhutan.

262. If a member does not arrive in time for a parliamentary
session or if, without the permission of the Speaker, fails

to appear and has no acceptable excuse, the National

Assembly may impose as a sanction the forfeiture of the

whole or a part of his or her salary or allowance.

Breach of Privileges

263. When any individual or authority disregards any of the
privileges, either of the members or of the National

Assembly, an offence of breach of privilege is

committed.

264. Breach of privileges and contempt shall include:

(a) Refusing to comply with an order of the
Assembly or a committee;

(b) Giving false or incomplete testimony before the
Assembly or a committee;

(c) Presenting a false document to the Assembly or a
committee with intent to deceive;

(d) Publication of false or distorted report of the
proceedings of the Assembly;

(e) Forging, falsifying or altering any document of
the Assembly or a committee or any document

tabled or presented before it;

(f) Creating disturbance liable to disrupt the course
of parliamentary proceedings;

(g) Using or threatening to use force or using undue
pressure to have a sitting cancelled or suspended;

(h) Assaulting, interfering with, bullying or
threatening the members of the Assembly in the

carrying out of their parliamentary duties or

members of the personnel of the Assembly in the

carrying out of their parliamentary duties;

(i) Bribing or attempting to bribe a member of the
Assembly or a member of the personnel of the

Assembly;

(j) Misconduct in the Assembly or committee;

(k) Attempting to influence the vote, opinion,
judgment or action of a member by means of

deceit, threat or undue pressure;

(l) Suborning or attempting to suborn or threatening
a person in regard to any evidence to be given by

him before the Assembly, a committee or a

subcommittee; or

(m) Performing an act contrary to the parliamentary
immunity conferred on a member.

265. The punishment for breach of privilege shall be as
provided in Chapter 27 of this Act.

CHAPTER 24: CODE OF CONDUCT

Conduct of Members

266. Members shall at all times conduct themselves in a
courteous and respectful manner and shall respect the

authority of the Speaker. In particular, members shall not

speak or stand when the Speaker is speaking.

267. Members shall clad themselves in the national dress with
Tshoglam and Kabney and members conferred with

Dhar and patang shall, in addition, wear their patang.

268. Members shall refrain from eating, smoking or using
electronic equipment, including cellular phones or lap

top computers on the floor of the House.

269. Members shall refrain from loud laughter, clapping or
using profane, offensive, vulgar or unparliamentary

expression.

270. A member shall not read any book, newspaper or other
documents except in connection with the business of the

House;

271. Members shall refrain from engaging in conversation or
walking in the House when a member is speaking.

272. If a member has to leave the National Assembly Hall
under compelling situation, the member shall fold down

his or her Kabney while leaving and re-entering as a

gesture of respect to the House.

273. Every member shall subscribe to maintaining the
decorum and dignity of the House and shall desist from

acts of defamation and use of physical force.

274. A member shall not indulge in any activity that adversely
affects the National Assembly, national sovereignty and

integrity of Bhutan and shall be accountable to the

National Assembly for his or her actions.

275. A member shall at all times conduct himself or herself in
a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen

public trust and confidence in the integrity of the

National Assembly and never undertake any action

which would bring the House into disrepute.

276. A member shall not use information which is not in the
public domain, or information obtained in confidence in

the course of their parliamentary duties to further the

member’s private interests or those of a member of his or

her family, or to further another person’s private

interests.

277. A member shall ensure that his or her personal conduct
is consistent with the dignity, reputation and integrity of

the National Assembly.

278. No member shall impose threat, intimidation or use
individual influence to encourage another member to

make any remarks in the National Assembly.

279. A member shall declare all gifts and benefits received in
connection with their official duties, in accordance with

the rules prescribed by Anti Corruption Commission.

280. A member shall not accept decorations from foreign
countries and shall before receiving international awards

inform the national assembly. The national assembly

shall decide whether the international award in question

can be accepted by the member.

281. A member shall not maintain or operate bank account in
any country outside Bhutan.

Incompatible Offices

282. A member shall not hold any office under the
Government, public companies or corporations.

283. Any office to which remuneration from a non-profit
international organization is attached is also

incompatible with the office of member.

284. A member shall not simultaneously belong to different
committees, commissions or Boards except as otherwise

provided by law made by Parliament.

285. A member who, when elected, is in an incompatible
office shall, before making the oath, resign from the

incompatible office.

286. If an office incompatible with parliamentary duties
devolves upon a member during his or her term, he or

she must resign from one or the other within thirty days.

The member shall not sit in the Assembly during such

time.

287. Section 282 does not include the office of a member of
the Lhengye Zhungtshog or any office that is held by a

member of the Lhengye Zhungtshog as such a member.

Conflicts of Interest

288. A member must avoid putting himself in situations
where his or her personal interest may influence the

carrying out of his or her duties.

289. Members whose personal interests are directly affected
by any matter being considered shall indicate and declare

their personal interest when making a statement in the

House or in the Committees.

290. No member shall solicit, accept or receive any
remuneration, benefit or profit whatever in exchange for

taking a position on a Bill, a resolution or any question

put or to be put to the Assembly or a committee.

Complaints

291. A member may bring a complaint before the Assembly
accusing another member of holding or having held an

incompatible office or having been in a situation of

conflict of interest.

292. The bringing of a complaint before the Assembly by a
member against another member without a serious

reason constitutes a breach of the privileges of the

Assembly.

CHAPTER 25: COMMITTEES

Standing Committees

293. The National Assembly shall appoint committees,
composed of members of National Assembly, to

examine any matter within the jurisdiction assigned to

them by the House, and to carry out any mandate given

to them by the House.

294. A committee may sit whilst the House is sitting provided
that on a division being called in the House, the

Chairman of the committee shall suspend the

proceedings in the committee for such times as will in

his or her opinion enable the members to vote in a

division.

Select or Ad Hoc or Special Committees

295. The National Assembly may appoint or select ad hoc or
special committees at any time by issuing a Standing

Order or by passing a Resolution specifying the

committee’s composition, responsibilities, terms of

reference and powers.

296. Such committees shall cease to exist at the end of a
session or at the dissolution of the House or after the

presentation of its report to the House.

Joint Committees

297. A Joint Committee composed of members from both the
Houses may be established by an Act of Parliament or by

concurrent resolution of both the Houses.

Proposal by Committee

298. A committee may introduce legislative Bills and other
agenda with respect to matters which fall under the

jurisdiction of the Committee.

Procedure in the Committees

299. The National Assembly Committees Act as enacted by
Parliament of Bhutan shall govern any matters related to

the Committees under the National Assembly.

CHAPTER 26: ADMINISTRATION OF THE

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

300. In order to support the activities and to manage the
administrative affairs of the National Assembly, the

Secretariat of the National Assembly shall be established

in the National Assembly.

301. The Secretariat shall assist the National Assembly in the
fulfillment of its duties.

302. The Secretariat shall be an independent and non-partisan
institution headed by the Secretary-General.

303. The Druk Gyalpo shall, by warrant under his or her hand
and seal, appoint the secretary general of the national

assembly on the recommendation of the Royal Civil

Service Commission.

304. The Secretary General shall, under the supervision of the
Speaker, manage the affairs of the National Assembly

and be responsible for the administration of the National

Assembly Secretariat.

305. The Secretariat’s budget shall be approved by Parliament
as a part of the National Annual Budget. If the decision

of Parliament on National budget is delayed, the

Ministry of Finance shall provide the Secretariat with

interim funds, which shall be at least equal to the

previous year’s current budget.

306. No deed, document or writing shall bind the National
Assembly or may be attributed to the Speaker unless it is

signed by him and by the Secretary General or by

another officer designated by the Secretary General.

307. The Secretariat may allow the required signature to be
affixed by means of an automatic device to such

documents.

308. The Secretary General shall have custody of the records
of the Assembly.

CHAPTER 27: OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

309. Except for any criminal offence which shall be dealt in
accordance with the Penal Code of Bhutan, any other

offences under this Act shall be dealt in accordance with

this Act.

310. Any person other than a member who performs any act
or makes any omission contemplated in Sections 264 and

265 is guilty of an offence and liable to a maximum fine

of five years daily minimum national wage rate.

311. Every member who contravenes any provision of this
Act is guilty of an offence and liable to one or more of

the following penalties, as determined by the National

Assembly:

(a) a reprimand;

(b) a fine;

(c) the refund of any illicit profit;

(d) the refund of the indemnities, allowances or other
sums he received as a member while the offence

continued;

(e) a temporary suspension; or

(f) the loss of his or her seat as a Member.

Decision of Disqualification

312. The decision of the House to disqualify a member under
this Act shall require a two-thirds majority of the

members present.

313. Where the House has decided to relieve a member of his
or her duties, the Speaker shall declare forthwith that the

member is no longer qualified for his or her office.

Competence of the Assembly

314. The Assembly is fully competent to judge any offence
provided for in this Act and to apply the penalties

prescribed therein.

Homologation

315. Where the Assembly directs a person to pay or reimburse
an amount for an offence against this Act, it may, in

default of payment, have its decision homologated by

High Court, according to the amount involved.

316. The decision thereby shall become executory as a
judgment of the High Court.

317. Every sum received under this chapter shall be paid into
the Consolidated Fund.

CHAPTER 28: MISCELLANEOUS

Continuation of Matters

318. If the consideration of a matter has not been concluded
by the end of a session, it shall be continued in the

following session, unless parliamentary elections have

been held in the interim. However, the consideration of a

report from the Government and the Finance Minister

shall not be continued into the following session, unless

otherwise decided by the National Assembly.

319. On the prorogation of the House, all pending notices,
other than notices of intention to move for leave to

introduce a Bill shall lapse.

Reports

320. The Royal Audit Authority and the Anti-Corruption shall
submit their Annual Reports before the National

Assembly for taking such action as deemed appropriate.

321. In all regular sessions, a report shall be presented to the
National Assembly on the measures the Government has

undertaken on the basis of the resolutions of the National

Assembly, as well as on other matters of significance in

State administration.

Rule Making Power

322. The Assembly may make rules for the conduct of
proceedings and for effective implementation of this Act.

CHAPTER 29: AMENDMENT AND

AUTHORITATIVE TEXT

Amendment

323. The amendment of this Act by way of addition, variation
or repeal shall be effected by a simple majority of the

respective Houses or vote of no less than two-thirds of

the total members of Parliament present and voting on a

motion submitted by one-third of the members of either

House, provided that the amendment does not undermine

the functions and effectiveness of the National

Assembly.

Authoritative Text

324. The Dzongkha text shall be the authoritative text, if there
exists any difference in meaning between the Dzongkha

and the English text.

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