Relief for IAS officer Mohammed Mohsin who checked Modi's convoy as election panel revokes suspension

The commission has received a factual report from Dharmendra Sharma, Deputy Election Commissioner in the matter.

Published: 26th April 2019 06:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2019 09:00 AM   |  A+A-

Mohammed Mohsin. (Photo | Facebook | @SDPIKarnatakaOfficia)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Karnataka cadre IAS officer Mohammed Mohsin, who was in the eye of a storm after checking the cavalcade of the Prime Minister, got a major reprieve after the Bengaluru bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Thursday stayed the April 16 order passed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) suspending him. Mohsin had questioned his suspension. Hours later, the ECI revoked the suspension with immediate effect and directed him to report to the Karnataka government. Mohsin received the ECI order around 9.40 pm on Thursday.

According to the ECI order, the officer was suspended on April 16 for dereliction of duty and shifted the headquarters from Sambalpur (Odisha) to the office of Chief Electoral Officer, Bengaluru on April 20. The commission has received a factual report from Dharmendra Sharma, Deputy Election Commissioner in the matter. Considering the report, the Commission has recommended to the Karnataka Government to initiate disciplinary action and also debarred Mohsin from election duty with immediate effect until further orders.

The CAT bench of Dr K B Suresh also ordered notice to ECI, Chief Electoral Officer, Odisha and Karnataka, Secretary, Department of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pensions and the Chief Secretary of Karnataka to file their replies within four weeks and adjourned the matter to June 3.

While referring to the exemption given to SPG protectees from checking, the CAT said, “Probably it is so, but during the election process, while reasonable assurances of protection and security must be made available to SPG protectees, it cannot be said that they are eligible for anything and everything”. 

Mohsin was suspended for checking PM’s cavalcade

IAS officer Mohammed Mohsin, who was working as Secretary, Backward Classes Welfare Department in Karnataka, was appointed as General Election Observer of Sambalpur Parliamentary constituency in Odisha by the ECI. He was suspended for checking the cavalcade of the Prime Minister.

While referring to the exemption given to SPG protectees from checking, the CAT said, “Probably it is so, but during the election process, while reasonable assurances of protection and security must be made available to SPG protectees, it cannot be said that they are eligible for anything and everything”.

“As pointed out by the counsel for Mohsin, there were news reports indicating that heavy packages were taken away from the Prime Minister’s cavalcade into another vehicle in Karnataka.  Questions were raised about it but apparently, no action followed,” the CAT said. The tribunal further said, “We will like to look into this matter after receiving a response from the ECI. The suspension order issued by the ECI has hereby stayed. The applicant will be eligible to rejoin his former position under Government of Karnataka without any further ado about it”, the CAT said.

Mohsin later took charge as Secretary, Backward Classes Welfare Department.  In his application, Mohsin stated that he has earlier worked as General Observer during General Elections but did not receive a single memo in his career over 23 years. On April 16, 2019, the Prime Minister landed at the helipad situated in Sambalpur constituency. His cavalcade was required to be videographed, and so were his rallies and election meetings as required under the Model Code of Conduct. Accordingly, everything was videographed. Later, he was placed under suspension.

Mohsin’s petition stated that the suspension order did not indicate the violations alleged to have been committed by him in respect of SPG protectees.  The suspension order was passed with lightning speed for extraneous considerations with a view to humiliate him and to derive a political advantage in favour of a political party.  The action of the Commission is high-handed, malafide and not in a good faith, it said.

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