Bhubaneswar, Aug. 19: The state cabinet today decided to introduce a bill in the monsoon session of the Assembly with a view to replacing the 152-year-old Orissa Police Act.
Fixed tenures of a minimum of two years for the director-general of police, district superintendents of police and in charges of all the police stations in the state constitute part of the bill.
“Changes in the law were overdue as the act has become outdated and the police role has undergone a sea change,” said a senior police officer.
Other features include separation of crime investigation from law and order maintenance and setting up of a separate crime investigation unit at all urban police stations.
A Police Complaint Authority will be set up under the chairmanship of Lokpal to look into complaints of misconduct against the police officials. Besides, a Police Establishment Board, under the director-general of police, will be constituted to take care of transfer and postings of sub-ordinate officials.
The cabinet favoured enactment of a legislation to prevent witch-hunting practices prevalent in the tribal societies. Besides, a provision will be incorporated in the Odisha Government Servants Conduct Rules, making it mandatory for a government employee to submit an undertaking that he had not taken dowry at the time of his marriage.
The decisions come in the wake of Opposition allegation that there had been general deterioration in law and order situation in the state and the police were being used for partisan purposes.
The short session of the Assembly is expected to be stormy with the Opposition planning to take on the government on issues such as the fraud by sham deposit collection companies, farmers’ problems, onion price rise and corruption and irregularities in implementation of various schemes.
The Congress and The BJP had their brainstorming sessions today to chalk out strategies for the session.
Both the parties are determined to embarrass the state government on the issue of rising crimes against women and of having a separate bench of Orissa High Court for the 11 districts of western Odisha.