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Board to lend ears to transfer woes

Bhubaneswar, May 6: Setting the ball rolling for reforms in the police system, the state government has set up a police establishment board to deal with transfer issues and postings of lower-level officers up to those in the rank of additional SPs.

State home secretary T.K. Mishra told The Telegraph today that the state government had recently issued a notification to this effect.

Constitution of the police establishment board will ensure transparency in transfers and postings of lower-level police officers up to the rank of additional SPs, he said.

The measure was taken in conformity with a recent Supreme Court directive and recommendations of Soli Sorabjee committee, which was appointed by the central government to suggest measures to bring about reforms in the police system.

The newly constituted five-member board, headed by DGP Amarananda Pattanayak, has additional DG (intelligence) M.M. Praharaj and IG (crime branch) B.K. Sharma, DIG (central range), S.K. Upadhyay and DIG (administration) Debasis Panigrahi as its members. “The state government may interfere with the decisions of the Board in exceptional cases for which reasons are to be recorded in writing,” he said.

The board will also decide on the inter-range transfers or postings of police sub-inspectors and inspectors besides inter-district transfer of non-gazetted officers.

Moreover, it will function as a forum of appeal to address grievances of police officers regarding their promotions and transfers, said the home secretary. The body will also review the work of police officers in the state, he added.

The police establishment board is a part of ongoing reforms in the police system the state government has undertaken besides enacting a new Police Act replacing the age-old Indian Police Act, 1861.

A high-level committee headed by the chief secretary has been constituted to recommend a draft legislation, which would be formulated on the lines of the Model Police Act, 2006, according to the recommendations of Soli Sorabjee Committee.

The salient features of the model Police Act and recommendations of Sorabjee Committee include creation of a state police board for merit-based selection and appointment of DGPs and other senior police officers, security of tenure and improved service conditions of the police officials and segregating investigating and law and order wings of police department.

Sources said setting upa police board is being delayed since the government is opposed to the nomination of leader of Opposition as a member. However, it has initiated steps to separate the investigating wing from the law and order agency to ensure speedier investigation and better expertise.

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