IAS officer who checked PM’s chopper seeks legal remedy

Mohammed Mohsin

Karnataka-cadre IAS officer Mohammed Mohsin, who was suspended after he checked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter in Odisha’s Sambalpur, said on Friday he would seek legal remedy against the Election Commission’s recommendation to initiate disciplinary action against him.

The Election Commission revoked Mohsin’s suspension on Thursday, hours after the Bengaluru bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) stayed his suspension. Following the CAT stay, Mohsin has resumed duty as Karnataka's Backward Classes Welfare secretary.

In its order, however, the Election Commission recommended to the state government to initiate disciplinary action against him. “I will have to seek appropriate legal remedy... As the matter is sub judice, it would not be appropriate to mention the merits of the case,” Mohsin said in a statement.

A 1996-batch officer, Mohsin assumed duty as a general observer in Sambalpur on April 3. He was suspended from election duty on April 16 on grounds that he had not acted in conformity with the instructions of the Election Commission relating to Special Protection Group (SPG) protectee. Prime Minister Modi is an SPG protectee.

His suspension, Mohsin said, came as a shock. “This came to me as a shocking bolt from the blue as I have always functioned as Election Observer strictly in accordance with the norms prescribed not only in the ongoing general elections but also in the past general elections in different states (sic),” he stated.

Mohsin said he submitted an appeal to the Election Commission on April 23. When there was no response, he said he moved CAT seeking an interim stay. In the statement, Mohsin thanked his friends, well-wishers and senior colleagues who “stood by me and became a source of strength and solace during my hour of distress.”

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