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Odisha Police Bill to separate investigation from routine policing

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 17:

The Odisha Police Bill 2015 introduced the Assembly on Monday proposes separation of criminal investigation from routine policing job.

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Introducing the Bill, which would replace the 154-year old Police Act of 1861, on behalf of the Chief Minister, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh said; “The new Bill is aimed at redefining the role of police, their duties and responsibilities taking into account the emerging challenges of policing and security of the state.”

The Bill, which has already been approved by the Cabinet, seeks to consolidate the provisions of the Police Act, 1861 and Odisha State Armed Police Act, 1946 in a single legislation for better police administration in the State.

A criminal investigation unit will be created in all police stations in urban and rural areas which are considered as crime prone. These units will investigate heinous crimes and special cases. The police officers posted to such units will not be ordinarily diverted to any other duty, except under special circumstances with the permission of the Inspector General of the Criminal Investigation Organisation to be created under the new law.

The Bill proposes creation of a Criminal Investigation Organisation and its focus will be criminal investigation. An officer of the rank of IGP will be in its charge.

For tackling terrorism and providing security of VIPs, a separate organization will be constituted which will be named as the State Intelligence Organisation.

The Bill proposes a fixed tenure of at least two years for Director General of Police (DGP) and other key police functionaries to ensure autonomy through security of tenure. It also aims at streamlining the appointment and transfer process.

The Bill proposes establishment of a State Police Security Commission to aid and advise the government in discharge of functions under the Act and frame policy guidelines for promoting efficient, effective, responsive and accountable policing. The Chief Minister will head the Commission. The chief secretary, Home secretary, DGP and two non-political persons will be its members.

The Bill provides creation of a State Police Complaint Authority at the state-level to look into complaints of grave misconduct against police officers of the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP) and above.

As per the Bill, the state would be divided into several police ranges and each range will be divided into police districts that will be distinct from revenue districts. Each district will be divided into police sub-divisions with a specified number of police stations.

The Bill also proposes creation of armed police units by forming Armed Police Reserve for each police district as well as in the State level. The district armed police should be deployed to deal with emergent law and order problem or any violent situation in the district.

The Bill proposes to set up a Police Establishment Board with DGP as chairperson and four others as members.

At the range and district levels, similar boards will be formed to look after transfer and posting of police personnel.

This Bill was first introduced in the Assembly on August 26, 2013 but was not adopted then.

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