Bhubaneswar, Aug 19
A proposal from the state Home department for reforming Odisha Police Service and Odisha Armed Police Service under the new Odisha Police Bill was today approved by the state Cabinet.
The Bill would repeal and replace the Police Act, 1868 framed by the British rulers 152 years ago, sources said. The Draft Bill has been prepared in consonance with the directions of the Supreme Court and recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) as well as that of the Soli Sorabji Committee.
The Draft Bill has provisions for autonomy to the police in its functioning and changes that could alter public perception of the khaki force.
In another significant development, the Cabinet deliberated on the enactment of a special law to deal strongly with the abominable practice of witch-hunting. Under the new provisions, a person convicted of involvement in this crime would get a jail term of one to three years or Rs 5,000 fine or both.
The Cabinet gave its nod to a proposal for exemption of Value Added Tax (VAT) on sales or purchases by the Central police canteens as also exemption of entry tax on scheduled goods procured by the canteens.
Besides, the Cabinet discussed a proposal from the Finance Department for one time settlement of arrear electricity dues of government departments and the Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation until 31st March 2012. The state will provide equity support to Gridco towards the compensation for the 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 Cabinet’s approval.
As many as 12 proposals came up for discussion in the meeting the details of which were not made public as the model code of conduct was in force due to the ensuing Urban Local Body (ULB) polls, sources said.