Bengaluru: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) here Thursday stayed the order of the Election Commission (EC) suspending IAS officer Mohammed Mohsin for checking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter in Odisha.
The officer from Karnataka cadre, deployed in Odisha as a general observer, was suspended April 17 for checking Modi’s helicopter in Odisha’s Sambalpur in violation of norms for dealing with SPG protectees and sent back to the state.
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.”
Mohsin had tried to check some luggage in the convoy of the Prime Minister and the EC order had said he had acted in violation of existing instructions of the commission.
In its order, the CAT, which adjudicates disputes involving central government employees, noted that there was a circular regarding the SPG protectees that they are exempted from certain examinations on certain grounds.
It also said, “We will not go into the SPG protectees guidelines as per the bluebook right now but the rule of law must prevail.”
The tribunal also took note of the submission of the applicant’s counsel who pointed out that there was news about heavy packages unloaded from prime minister’s cavalcade being taken away in other vehicle.
“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,” a source in the EC had said following suspension.
After the incident, Mohsin was attached to the Sambalpur headquarters and subsequently sent back to Karnataka where he was attached with state Chief Electoral Officer.