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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Are you anticipating a drug test by any authority???

 Are you or any of your friends or family members been subjected to drug test or mo so anticipating a mandatory drug test by any authority including BNCA and RBP?

1 .Who can test you?
An agency designated by Bhutan Narcotic Control Agency (BNCA)  has authority to carry a drug test on you  or your property for screening and testing of substance or sample provided under under Section 85 of the Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substance and Substance Abuse Act (NDPSSA) 2015. 

2.  When can you or your property can be tested? 
You can be tested for drug abuse  under Section 85 of NDPSSA Act 2015, if there is a credible information that you cause  public nuisance or poses probable risk to the public and is under reasonable ground suspected to have consumed or consuming any substances controlled under this Act in any public place or if you are suspected to possess goods contains controlled substance listed under Schedules I to V of this Act with or without authorization. 

3. Can you decline the drug test?  and if you decline, how can the authority test you for drug abuse?
Yes, you can refuse to do the test. In case, if you refuse to give the test, as per Section 86 of NDPSSA Act,  then the Authority has duty to take the samples from you  as per the Civil and Criminal Procedure Code   (CCPC) 2001 as amended in 2011. Since, generally your urine is taken as sample for screening test, Section 185.1 of CCPC states that "Due discretion should be exercised for invasive procedures (i.e.bodily fluids). Further, it is the duty of the authority to give a reasonable notice and you also have the right to Jabmi (Counsel) present during the test to ensure that sample is taken fairly.  

4. Is the first test (Screening test) final? Is it 100% accurate? Can it be challenged if you think, it is not correct or have doubt over the result? 
It is only a field test or screening test, thus, it is not 100% accurate and go wrong for various reasons including contaminated instruments, wrong procedures, similar chemicals in the urine showing the preliminary positive test for controlled substances, or other factors. Therefore, yes, you can challenge the screening test results.  If you challenge the test results, it is the duty of Narcotic Control Board to establish Confirmatory Laboratories to conduct confirmatory test which may probably be qualitative chemical analysis to determine the actual content of the sample. That result will be final and binding. 

5.   In case, if you are addicted to drugs or use drugs but want to stop, what rights do you have. 
a.     First, under Section 40 of  NDPSSA   Act 2015, you can voluntarily submit meaning you can visit any counseling services such as drop-in-centers, hospital, or even to BNCA or RBP asking for  them to help you. If you do this, then your information will be kept confidential including identity and it is the duty of the government to help you to get out of the problem.
b.     Second, under Section 48-50 of NDPSSA Act 20015, even if you arrested by any agency, you still get to go for compulsory treatment and rehabilitation or counseling depending on the problem you have. It is called compulsory submission and if you repeat more than three times, then you can be imprisoned upto less than 3 years under Section 153 of NDPSSA Act 2015.

c.     Third, if you complete the rehabilitation and treatment or counseling, under Section 50 of NDPSSA Act 2015, you are entitled to equal opportunities for jobs and other opportunities to help assimilate into the mainstream

6. What is the objective of NDSSA Act 2015
The preamble makes it clear that, this law was enacted to create awareness on ill effects of drug use including taking proactive prevention measures and to provide  treatment and rehabilitation and also social re-integration when prevention fails and of course to punish those involved in illicit trafficking of these drugs.

7. Why drug addiction is a diseases 
It is considered a life long disease due to so many reasons. Here is the link where you will get the accurate and comprehensive explanation of this topic . This link is from an American Medical Associations 

Thank you and SAY NO TO DRUGS 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Kasho from HM 4th Druk Gyalpo to promote our National Language: Dzongkha

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Gearing for land of Opportunity- The United States of America

Gearing for land of Opportunity- The United States of America 

Millions of people particularly from the developing country including thousands of Bhutanese long to travel to this land. However, due to lack of proper information, while many don’t know how to apply, some got scammed in the name of obtaining visa. Therefore, I am sharing what I knew about the how to apply for US Visa and how to travel to the United States with appropriate links and samples of the documents I have submitted to the US Embassy to obtain  visa and also other necessary information including travel and residing in the United States. 

Who can travel to the United States 

How to obtain VISA 
Since, obtaining VISA is the most important step, I would be discussing  the visa process and in detail. 

What are different types of VISA  and how much each visa cost*** 

Business/Tourist Visa
Work Visa
Student Visa 
Exchange Visa
Transit/Ship Crew Visa
Religious Worker Visa 
Domestic Employee Visa 
Journalist and Media Visa 

Among these many VISA, generally Bhutanese people would be applying the following Visa 

  1. Business/Tourist Visa (B)
  2. Exchange Visa (J)
  3. Student Visa (F)

What types of VISA permit the legal work 

Obviously the Work Visa would be permitted to work. But besides work visa, other visas like Exchange Visa (J Visa) or Student Visa (F Visa) does also permit an individual work under certain conditions.  For example, J and F Visa permits the work within the campus called On campus work for about 20 hours in a week and also may be permitted off campus under certain conditions. However, the dependents are normally not permitted to work. The actual visa holders get F1 for student and J1 for exchange programs and their dependents hold F2 and J2 respectively. 

Step I: Documents to be kept ready 
Before, you apply for Visa online, I found that following documents and information are necessary.

  1. Passport 
  2. CID
  3. Details of Spouse and children 
  4. Details of Parents 
  5. Details of Addresses 
  6. Health records if any 

Online application 
The US Visa requires two steps to complete the application online, the DS-160 Form fill up and Appointment (interview and biometric) 

Step II: Filling up DS-160 
The first step in the online application is to fill up the DS-160 Form 
What is DS-160 Form 

How to fill up DS-160 Form
First click here. 
On click, one should be able to view as shown below

Click on this option and select INDIA, New Delhi

Then go to the Language, Select English from this option

After selecting the English as Language, click on the start an application 

Step III: Making an appointment 
a. How to make appointment 
b. Payment of Fees (SEVIS and VISA Fee) 
c: What to get printed for the VISA Interview 

Step IV: VISA Process in New Delhi 
a. Biometric Process 
b. Interview 
c. See the progress of VISA 
d. Collection of Passport 

Travel to the US 

Friday, 7 July 2017

In recent times, media have started publishing photo(s) and details of people suspected or accused of crime resulting in naming and shaming preceding a judicial process. Such trend is worrying and unprofessional as it violates not only the fundamental rights but also legal rights. Even more worrying is the publication of only a selected few that could construe as bias reporting and discriminatory undermining the basic human rights of these people. No freedom is absolute and freedom of media is not an exception. Media must enjoy the right to exercise the democratic culture as Bhutan embarks on the journey of democracy. However, such democratic culture must stay within the limits of the Constitution. Fountain of justice is the prerogative of judiciary and not Media. Therefore, media has neither constitutional nor legal right to punish any person including naming and shaming. With the adoption of the constitution of country, Bhutan’s criminal justice system rests on Article 7 of the Constitution, the Fundamental Rights. This means that every person has right to life, liberty and may be taken only with due process of law. He or she also has right to security, equality before law, equal protection of the law, protection against discrimination, presumption of innocence until proven guilty, protection against arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, home or correspondence and unlawful attack on his honour and reputation. Due process of law and fair trial are cardinal rules of criminal justice. Thus, media by naming and shaming of any person without due process of law, no matter how heinous the crime that person might have committed or suspected to have committed or accused of committing would tantamount to violation of his numerous fundamental rights under the Constitution. It could cause an accused or suspect and his or her family members an irreparable damage to their reputation, unimaginable mental trauma and stigmatization in the society particularly a small society like ours. Researches around the globe revealed that, the media trials tend to influence judges and subconsciously a pressure is created to affect the sentencing. Courts have stated that, in the eyes of public, media trial provokes public hysteria akin to the extent of lynching mob making the fair trial nearly impossible and regardless of the result of the trial, in public perception, the accused is already held guilty and would not be able to live the rest of their life without intense public scrutiny. Thus, it is now a universal settled law that when a conflict arises between fair trial and freedom of speech, the former prevailed because the compromise of fair trial for a particular accused will cause them permanent harm whereas the inhibition of media freedom ends with the conclusion of legal proceedings. Besides the Constitutional Rights, any suspect or accused also enjoys numerous legal rights. Section 96.2 of the Civil and Criminal Procedure of Bhutan states, “Finding of guilt against one or more of the parties can only be given when the prosecution to the full satisfaction of the Court has established a proof beyond reasonable doubt.” And Section 207 of the Penal Code of Bhutan requires that a person can be punished only if the elements of the charge where guilt beyond reasonable doubt have been proven to full satisfaction of the court. By Section 6 of the Penal Code of Bhutan, a person can be convicted of a criminal offence and shall not be sentenced otherwise than accordance with this Penal Code. Thus, where does the media derive jurisdiction of punishing any suspect or accused through naming and shaming even before their trial begins. The Media must remember that for any suspect or accused to be punished, the prosecution has duty not primarily to convict, but to seek justice proving the accused beyond reasonable doubt while the accused must be accorded to defend any accusations by all lawful, fair and honorable means, so as not to deprive his or her of life or liberty, through due process of the law. The preamble of the Penal Code states that the law is enacted to “perpetuate good and chaste actions, correct those, who have gone wrong,” guilty not to escape and innocent not to suffer and to secure justice to ourselves and our posterity.” Therefore, how does the pre-trial naming and shaming by media justify such rights of the accused or suspect. Naming and shaming of suspect or accused before formal court proceedings also undermines the pre-trial as well as other rights enshrined in the Civil and Criminal Procedure Code including determination of sufficient cause of accusations made, whether to plead guilty or not (Nolo Contendere). The Code of Ethics for Journalists framed under Section 26(d) of the Bhutan Information, Communications and Media Act prohibits the journalist from reporting judicial proceedings that might affect or alter the trial unfairly or publish anything that is defamatory of any person or organization. The Code also requires the journalist not to identify relatives or friends of any person accused or convicted of crime, or imply guilt by association in relation to such relatives or friends, unless there are compelling reasons, such as relevance to the story being published, or evidence that might reasonably point to such guilt. The Code further mandates that the journalist stand by the principle that all persons are equal before law. It is even more worrying when the media try to name and shame few selected as in the recent cases, the principle of all persons to be treated equal before law and equal protection of law is completely ignored. In fact, such reporting would warrant a suit against such reporter or media for the damage the suspect or accused and his family suffered in the society. In a nutshell, media must remember that presumption of innocence of an accused is a legal presumption and should not be destroyed at the very threshold through the process of media trial and that too when the investigation is pending. The freedom of the press should not degenerate into a licence to attack litigants and close the door of justice nor can it include any unrestricted liberty to damage the reputation of respectable persons.

This Article was published in Kuensel as Opinion 
In recent times, media have started publishing photo(s) and details of people suspected or accused of crime resulting in naming and shaming preceding a judicial process. Such trend is worrying and unprofessional as it violates not only the fundamental rights

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