Police Bill in Odisha
Jamir turns down Navin’s Police Bill
(Public consultation new rule of the day)
Bhubaneswar, (ONS) 6/11 : In a major setback to the Navin Pattnaik led Odisha Government, Governor SC Jamir has sent back the controversial Odisha Police Bill-2015 to the Home department for reconsideration of the state Assembly.
Odisha Police Bill-2015 which was passed in the state Assembly on August 27 with Opposition remaining absent,has several serious flaws, some of the provisions are not in consonance with the Supreme Court guidelines.
While the opposition Congress and BJP have termed it as a victory for the Opposition and a warning to the government of its undemocratic practices, the ruling BJD is on face saving mode and has called it a routine affair. “The government should learn from this. According to the democratic set up, Governor is the head of the state. It would not be wrong to say that this is a warning to the Odisha government against its undemocratic practices,” commented Basant Panda, leader of the BJP legislature party in the state Assembly.
“The way the government had got the Bill passed in the absence of the Leader of the Opposition, is the most condemnable thing. We welcome the Governor returning the Bill back. I term it as a victory of the Opposition,” said Tara Prasad Bahinipati, chief whip of the Congress party in the state Assembly in his reaction.
“According to article 200 of the Indian Constitution, the Governor can either give his assent to a Bill passed by the Assembly or send it back to the Assembly for reconsideration. This is nothing new. There are several instances of Governor sending back Bills for reconsideration of the state Assembly in the past,” said Bikram Arrukh, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.
As said by the various quarters, the government should follow the directives of the apex court in Prakash Singh vs Union of India, should be followed both in letter and spirit. Responding to the directives of the Supreme Court, the Bill has not only ignored the key concerns of the people, but also diluted the important directives of the Supreme Court.
It does not have a provision for district level police complaint authorities and even in the state level authority it does not include criteria or selection process for members, does not provide independent investigators.
The State Security Commission’s composition provided for under the Bill does not conform fully to any of the three suggested models of the Supreme Court. The Leader of the Opposition and retired Judge are absent. The Bill leaves out a selection process and only provides that two “non-political persons” are to be nominated by the Government – this must be corrected. Also, the SSC should have representation from marginalized sections.