BENGALURU: The Bengaluru bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Monday directed the state government to maintain status quo with regard to Karnataka cadre IAS officer Mohammed Mohsin, against whom a departmental inquiry was ordered by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for allegedly checking the chopper of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Odisha.
Hearing the application filed by Mohsin questioning the departmental inquiry ordered against him on April 25, 2019, on the ground that the order was passed “in a most cavalier manner without application of mind”, a bench headed by KB Suresh directed the government to maintain status quo. Earlier, CAT had stayed Mohsin’s suspension by ECI.
After this, ECI revoked the suspension and directed the government to conduct a departmental inquiry against him. While ordering that status quo be maintained with regard to ECI’s recommendation, CAT also ordered notice to the ECI, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, chief secretary, government of Karnataka, and others.
After news that his suspension order had been stayed by CAT, ECI revoked the suspension order but ordered that he be barred from being assigned any poll-related duty, and recommended the government to hold a departmental inquiry.
Challenging this, Mohsin contended in this application that the order was passed without giving him a hearing, and that the ECI had kept him under suspension on false allegations. Now, without hearing him, he had been debarred from any poll-related duties and a departmental inquiry was ordered against him. The order does not disclose any breach of duty but was passed, which is malafide. Hence, it is unsustainable, Mohsin claimed.
Mohsin stated that he was present at the spot at 10.22am and left the place at 10.50am to participate in another programme. The Prime Minister’s arrival was at 11 am, by which time he had left the spot. In view of this, Mohsin said the ECI’s action was required to be set aside.