Is the first office of the Haryana government — the Raj Bhavan — now open for private family functions?
In a weird move, defying protocol and tenets of propriety, Mohinder Kumar (59), secretary to the governor, has decided to organise a family function in the precincts of the Haryana Raj Bhavan on March 31.
The secretary to the governor, a 1992-batch IAS officer on deputation to the Raj Bhavan, has sent out luncheon invitations for his grandson’s birth celebrations in the Raj Bhavan’s multi-purpose hall on Sunday.
Mentioned under RSVP (request for response) on the card is Kumar’s son, Vivek Kalia, a Haryana Civil Service (HCS) officer posted as the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), Gurgaon.
When asked whether it was appropriate for him to organise a private function in the Raj Bhavan, Kumar said: “We can organise it in the multi-purpose hall. Of course, the event is being organised with the governor’s consent.”
The Raj Bhavan is seen as symbol of stately elegance. It is the office-cum-official residence of the head of the state - the governor. While the incumbent governor can hold small family functions inside the Raj Bhavan, being its official occupant, officers and employees deputed there are not entitled to such privileges.
“This must be happening for the first time in the history of the state. It’s quite shocking to know that the secretary to the governor himself is organising a private function in the Raj Bhavan,” said a former secretary to the governor.
The secretary to the governor is the head of the department as well as the administrative secretary of Raj Bhavan affairs.
He is also the drawing and disbursing officer (DDO) and controlling officer in respect of expenditure and establishment of the Raj Bhavan and the governor’s household. In fact, the secretary is the link between the state government and the Raj Bhavan.