Mohammed Mohsin “had not acted in conformity” with instructions on Special Protection Group (SPG) protectees, the Election Commission had said, ordering his suspension.
# by Divyanshu Dutta Roy
The sudden check by the officer had delayed PM Modi by 15 minutes.
The suspension of an IAS officer who had checked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter in Odisha’s Sambalpur last week has been put on hold by the Central Administrative Tribunal. The Election Commission had suspended Mohammed Mohsin, saying that he “had not acted in conformity” with instructions on Special Protection Group (SPG) protectees.
However, opposition parties had expressed outrage at the move, saying there was no rule which exempts anyone from such checks during polls.
Staying the suspension today, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) said, “it cannot be said that SPG Protectees are eligible for anything and everything” and that “election officials have checked private vehicles of [Karnataka] Chief Minister Shri [HD] Kumaraswamy more than once and no action followed… the Chief Minister of Odisha’s vehicles were also checked.”
Referring to the controversy over a black trunk seen being hauled away from the Prime Minister’s helicopter during a rally in Karnataka , the tribunal said, “questions were raised about it but apparently no action followed”.
The CAT has asked both sides to respond to its observations in three weeks.
Mohammed Mohsin, a 1996 batch Karnataka cadre IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer, had been accused of “insubordination and dereliction of duty”.
Reports say as a general observer of Sambalpur constituency, the officer had carried out a sudden check of PM Modi’s helicopter, which delayed the Prime Minister by 15 minutes.
The CAT, which resolves disputes over appointments in public services, will hear the case again on June 3, after the ongoing Lok Sabha elections