PM Chopper Row: EC Revokes Officer’s Suspension, Bars From Duty
The Election Commission on Thursday, 25 April, revoked the suspension of IAS officer Mohammed Mohsin, who had checked Prime Minister Narendra Modi's helicopter in Odisha, but barred him from election duties till further orders.
Mohsin, while speaking to NDTV, said that his actions as were as per the Election Commission guidelines. “The suspension was illegal... I am being punished for doing my duty," he said.
"I was doing my duty. On the spur of the moment they have suspended me. I have not received a single report. I am fighting for myself in the dark," he added.
In a letter dated 25 April, the poll body had recommended that the Karnataka government take disciplinary action against him for ‘dereliction of duty’.
The letter reiterates the commission’s earlier order shifting Mohsin’s headquarters from Sambalpur (Odisha) to the office of Chief Electoral Officer in Bengaluru.
Mohsin is a 1996 batch IAS officer from Karnataka cadre. He was deployed in Odisha as a general observer and suspended on 17 April for checking Modi's helicopter in Odisha's Sambalpur in "violation" of norms for dealing with SPG protectees.
Tribunal Stays IAS Officer’s Suspension
The developments come on a day when the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in Bengaluru stayed the EC order suspending Mohsin.
The CAT maintained that during an election process while reasonable assurances of protection and security must be made available to SPG protectees, it cannot be said "they are eligible for anything and everything".
"It has been laid down that SPG protectees are exempted from checking. He should have known the instruction being an observer. The reason for suspension is dereliction of duty," an EC source had then said.
The order exempting SPG protectees, including the prime minister, was issued in April 2014, the poll body said.
The Commission took the action against Mohsin on the basis of a report submitted by the district collector and deputy inspector general of police.
(With PTI inputs)