CID not mandated to fish in poll waters, informally gives forecast

HARYANA HOME MINISTER V/S CID: Political intelligence collected should have a law and order implication, as per CID manual
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Published on Jan 18, 2020 02:30 PM IST
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By Hitender Rao, Chandigarh

Haryana home minister Anil Vij, who is at loggerheads with the criminal investigation department (CID), the intelligence arm of the state police, over denial of information pertaining to 2019 assembly poll projections seems to be making a rather unreasonable call since such informal pieces of information are never documented. His seeking out information about the security paraphernalia given to politicians among other things though is clearly justified.

As per the chapter 21 of the Punjab Police Rules (as applicable to Haryana), the collection, co-ordination and dissemination of political and criminal intelligence is one of the chief duties of the CID. The political intelligence CID gathers should have a possible law and order implication to justify its collection.

The CID manual, however, sheds more light on what kind of political intelligence the intelligence arm is mandated to collect.

“The CID manual prohibits the intelligence agency from fishing in electoral waters. Strictly speaking, the agency is not supposed to collect and disseminate any poll-related speculations, forecasts and analysis. However, it does provide poll forecasts and analysis of contesting candidates and seats in an informal manner to the chief minister,’’ said a former intelligence chief.

CID’s collection of political intelligence, as per the Punjab Police Rules include reporting proceedings of all political and other public meetings held to discuss matters which are likely to disturb the public tranquility.

“The CID also watches and reports on all communal, political and subversive movements affecting the province and country,’’ said an IPS officer

A former CID chief, who was known to be extremely powerful in his heydays, told HT that the job of the CID is to collect, analyse and provide to the chief minister every bit of relevant information including, the poll forecasts.

“I agree that CID manual prohibits the CID from trawling in poll waters. But then pieces of poll-related inputs and forecasts are only provided in an unofficial manner and are never documented,’’ said the former IPS officer who retired in the DG rank.

Vij has in the past few weeks slammed the CID for the delay in providing information, including the assembly poll forecasts sought by him. The CID, which during the BJP’s last tenure reported directly to chief minister ML Khattar as he was the minister in-charge of the home department, would have provided pieces of poll-related information to Khattar. But none of it is officially documented as it is an informal communication, said an official.

“It is also kind of a privileged communication shared with the then home minister and chief minister,’’ said a former CID official.

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Monday, October 25, 2021