Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 5:
In a major setback to the state 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 was passed in the state Assembly on August 27. However, the Opposition was not present in the House during the passing of the Bill.
Expressing its opposition to the Bill, a delegation of Congress MLAs led by Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra met the Governor on August 28 and submitted a memorandum requesting him not to give his assent to the Bill.
The Opposition had alleged that the Bill was violating the directives of the Supreme Court.
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 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.