Amid reports that a move was afoot to cull out the crucial Crime Investigation Department from the Home Department, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij Tuesday questioned the “haste” and “intention” behind it even as he added that the Chief Minkster is supreme and he can take away or divide any department.
“I have doubts over the haste.the intention is something else behind it,” said Vij in Ambala .
Vij’s remark comes amid a row over ministerial jurisdiction over the CID. A row has erupted in Haryana after the state government’s two official websites showed the CID under the chief minister’s charge and Vij took exceptions to it, saying “governments are not run by websites”, but “the rule of law”. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar later asserted that the CID remained under the CM’s charge in the Bansi Lal and Devi Lal governments.
Asked if grounds were being prepared to take away CID from him, Vij, who is a six-term MLA from Ambala Cantt, said, “The chief minister is supreme. If he wants to divide a department, he can do that; if he wants to take away a department, he can do that. I never raised any objection to this (on what CM can do). There is no need to make any preparation because the chief minister is supreme and he can give direct orders to officers and seek information from them”.
Sources in the government said that a wing of a department can be culled out after the approval of the Cabinet. In 2016, Sainik and Ardh Sainik Welfare Department had come into existence after it was taken out from under the jurisdiction of General Administration Department. Then a formal notification was also issued by the then Governor Kaptain Singh Solanki on December 21, 2016.
While recalling that the CID’s charge was held by Bansi Lal and Devi Lal as CMs, Khattar last week had sought to play down the row. “It is not a big issue. It is a technical issue. We will find some way out in that technical issue and we have discussed this matter,” Khattar had said.
The issue has taken the shape of a showdown between Khattar and Vij, after Home Minister objected to the transfer of nine IPS officers. The minister believes that “he is head of the police department being its minister-in-charge, but only intimation was sent to him about the transfers”. Vij had even termed the intelligence wind as “phissaddi” (laggard) while expressing his displeasure over the functioning of the CID.
Earlier Vij had said according to the Business of Haryana Government (Allocation) Rules, 1974, the CID was part of the Home Department. This allocation can be changed, “but for that, it has to be passed by the Cabinet and then later in Vidhan Sabha,” he had said.