DHARAMSALA, 30 March: The 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile(TPIE) today voted against making an amendment to the provisions in the Charter of the Tibetans in Exile on the qualifications of the Chief Justice Commissioner and the other two Justice Commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission.
The bill to amend the qualifications mandated by the Charter of the Tibetans in Exile failed to pass in the house after deliberations as it received just 21 votes in favour in the 45-member house.
The lawmakers opposing the bill largely argued that as Resolution No, 39 passed by the parliament with the backing of more than two-thirds of the MPs to impeach the Chief Justice Commissioner and the two Justice Commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission still remains in the house they can not support the bill.
Apart from being “a citizen of Tibet” and having “completed the age of 50 years” as mandated in Article 63 (2) a and b, the clause c requires nominees for “the Chief Justice Commissioner and the other two Justice Commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission must have been a judge in any court for a continuous period of 5 years or has been an experienced advocate standing for at least 10 years.”
The Tibetan parliament adopted the Charter on 14 June 1991 which was approved by the Dalai Lama on 28 June 1991 and it has been over 30 years since the charter came into force, the Charter now needs to be amended to fill the vacant seat of the Chief Justice Commissioner.
The clause c of Article 63 (2) came into effect as the charter states that after 30 years from the coming into force of the Charter, the provisions of this sub-clause( Article 63 (2) c) on the appointment of the Chief Justice Commissioner and the other two Justice Commissioners needs to be adhered to.
The bill seeking the postponement of the activation of Article 63 (2) c by three years was tabled in the house by the Tibetan Cabinet (Kashag) after the 10-member Standing committee of the TPIE voted with 4 votes in favour, 5 against and 1 abstain votes on tabling the bill in the house.