State Cabinet nod to new Odisha Police bill

Bhubaneswar: The state Cabinet chaired by Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday approved a proposal from the Home department for restructuring of the Odisha Police Service and Odisha Armed Police Service Wing under the new Odisha Police Bill.

According to sources, the Bill would repeal the Police Act, 1868 framed by the British regime 152 years ago. The Draft Bill has been prepared in consonance with the direction of the Supreme Court and basing on the recommendation of the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) and the Solisorbji Committee’s recommendation.
It has provisions for giving police autonomy in its functioning and changing the people's perception towards police.

In another significant development, the meeting discussed about enactment of a special law to prevent witch-hunting and other similar practices. As per the provisions in the proposed law, a convicted person may get jail term of one to three years or Rs 5,000 fine or both for committing the crime.

The meeting gave its approval to a proposal for exemption of Value Added Tax (VAT) on sales to or purchase by the central police canteens located in state. Also, there will be exemption of entry tax on schduled goods procured into the state by the canteens.

Besides, the Cabinet discussed about a proposal from the Finance Department for one time settlement of arrear electricity dues of government departments and Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation till 31st March 2012. The state will provide equity support to Gridco towards compensation for reduced retail supply tariff in 2011-12.

The Higher Education department's proposal for amendment of the Odisha Conduct of Examination Act, 1988 also got the Cabinet approval.

Total 12 proposals came up for dicussion in the meeting. However, details were not given by the state government as model code of conduct has been in force due to forthcoming Urban Local Body (ULB) polls, said sources.