Odisha State Cabinet meeting likely to approve ‘path-breaking’ Police Bill today



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Bhubaneswar: The meeting of the State Cabinet scheduled for today in all likelihood would approve the draft of the Odisha Police Bill reportedly featuring a slew of reformative measures aimed at overhauling policing system in the State.

The draft Bill, based on Model Police Act, 2006 drafted by Soli Sorabjee Committee, recommendations of Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) and a Supreme Court directive, seeks to replace the Police Act, 1861, a 152-year-old colonial legislation.

According to sources in the know, the Bill proposes setting up of three major institutions – State Security Commission, Police Establishment Board and State Complaint Authority.

Similarly, the potential changes in the existing law include fixing a tenure of two years for Director General (DG) of Police besides setting definite term in office for Inspector General (IG) of Police and Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police.

The to-be Police Establishment Board headed by Chief Secretary would be vested with authority with regard to posting and transfer of officers of the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP) and higher level. Another committee chaired by DGP would take the call on posting and transfer of Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASP) and their subordinate personnel, the sources said.

Notably, the ARC recommendations call for separation investigation from other functions of the police department. It seeks creation of a Crime Investigation Agency headed by a Chief of Investigation under the administrative control of a Board of investigation, which would be headed by a retired/sitting judge of the High Court.

There is all possibility that this component has found place in the draft Bill besides the recommendation for formation of a State Police Performance and Accountability Commission.

The Commission, as recommended by ARC, will have Home Minister, Leader of Opposition, Chief Secretary, Secretary in-charge of the Home Department, DGP (member secretary) and five non-partisan eminent citizens as its members.

To undertake performance audit of police stations and other police officers through inspections and review of departmental inspections, the ARC has also recommended setting up of an Independent Inspectorate of Police (IIP). The Inspectorate should be set up under the supervision of the Police Performance and Accountability Commission (PPAC).

The Inspectorate should render professional advice for improvement of standards in policing and also present an annual report to the PPAC, the ARC said and recommended that for all cases of deaths during encounters, the IIP should commence an enquiry within 24 hours of the incident.

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