Ignoring Vij’s objections to IPS officers’ transfer, dept went ahead, bypassing him
Chandigarh In a development that could lead to a showdown between Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his cabinet colleague and home minister, Anil Vij, the home department issued the transfer and posting orders of nine IPS officers, despite his disagreement. The department has bypassed Vij, who told HT that he, being the minister-in-charge, has the prerogative and authority to decide on the postings of IPS officers.
Sources said the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) had sent a note to the home minister, stating that CM had desired that these nine IPS officers be posted as such, and hence orders be issued. The home minister had written back, saying that he did not agree with the proposed transfers.
“I, being the home minister, should be deciding the postings of IPS officers. I told in writing to the officer in the CMO that any suggestion in this regard can be considered by me. I returned the note with these comments,’’ Vij told HT. Despite this, the transfer orders were issued on Saturday evening. Vij added that he would take up the matter with the CM.
Sources said that an aide of the CM handling the home portfolio in the CMO had sent the note to the home minister, expressing the CM’s desire to order the transfer and posting of the nine IPS officers. When Vij returned the note with his disagreement, the note was put up before a senior aide of the CM, for further orders. Strangely, the orders were issued without any fresh consultation with the home minister. Officers in the CMO did not respond to calls for their version
The Rules of Business of the state government say that in case there is a disagreement between the minister in-charge and the administrative secretary, the matter will be referred to the CM through the chief secretary.
However in this episode, the difference of opinion was between the CM and the home minister. “Ideally, the matter should have been referred back to the CM, who should have entered into a fresh round of consultation with the home minister. The home department should not have issued the orders. It is an act of indiscretion,’’ said a former home secretary.