Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Police Bill 2015, which was passed by the State Assembly during the recently concluded session, was on Wednesday returned by Governor S.C. Jamir to the Home department.
According to sources, Jamir also asked the Home department to table bill again in the Assembly for discussion.
Reacting to the decision of the governor, leader of BJP Legislature Party Basant Panda said the way the governor has returned the contentious Bill, speaks volume of the undemocratic move of the state government in passing the Bill in the House.
“The state government should take it as a reminder and do the needful not to repeat such undemocratic practices in future”, Panda added.
In his reaction, senior Congress leader and Opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said the manner in which the state government had passed the Bill in the absence of the Opposition was highly deplorable.
“We welcome the decision of the governor who has sent the bill to the state government for reconsideration. We also claim this incident as a victory of the Opposition”, Bahinipati told the media.
“They had deliberately kept the leader of the Opposition out of the committee with an intention to make the police administration dance to their tune. The Governor, after noticing this, has returned the Bill to the state government with the recommendation to amend it and place it for discussion in the State Assembly. I welcome the decision of the Governor and hope that the state government will learn a lesson from it and restrain from using the police in its party work. The neutrality of the police is the reflection of a healthy democratic setup and an efficient bureaucracy”, said leader of
the Opposition Narasingh Mishra.
However, BJD leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh said this is not a new incident.
“As per Article 200 of the Indian Constitution, if a Bill, passed in the State Assembly, is referred to the governor for his assent, it is the discretion of the governor to assent the Bill or return it to the State Assembly for reconsideration. Instances are galore where former governors of Odisha have sent the bill for reconsideration of the Assembly”, the minister said.
He, however, said the state government would re-examine the Bill before sending it again to the governor for approval.
It’s worthwhile to mention here that Odisha Police Bill 2015 was passed on August 27 in the absence of the Opposition. Even as Opposition parties were demanding discussion on few clauses of certain Bills, the Odisha Assembly on the same day passed four Bills in their absence.
Notably on August 28, a team of Congress MLAs headed by leader of Opposition Narasingh MIshra had met the governor alleging that the House was not being run impartially. Besides, they also submitted a memorandum to Governor not to pass the Bill.
They also alleged that the Bill is violating the directive of Supreme Court.