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‘Fighting this case in the dark’: IAS officer who checked PM Modi’s chopper

An officer of the 1996 Karnataka cadre, Mohammed Mohsin was serving as general observer for the Sambalpur Lok Sabha constituency in Odisha, where the Prime Minister addressed a rally on April 17.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2019 07:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
mohammed mohsin,ias officer,prime minister
The ECI order had stated that Mohsin did not act in conformity with its instructions concerning those guarded by the Special Protection Group. It also barred him from election duty until further notice.(AFP)

Breaking his silence, Mohammed Mohsin, the IAS officer who was suspended by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on April 16 for checking the helicopter in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was travelling, said he had not violated any rules and was unaware of the charges against him.

“I acted strictly as per the letter and spirit of the ECI guidelines. I have not violated any rules and I have not done anything wrong in this matter. This is why I asked for a copy of the report against me, but they have so far not shared this. I am fighting this case in the dark,” he said.

An officer of the 1996 Karnataka cadre, Mohsin was serving as general observer for the Sambalpur Lok Sabha constituency in Odisha, where the Prime Minister addressed a rally on April 17.

The ECI order had stated that Mohsin did not act in conformity with its instructions concerning those guarded by the Special Protection Group. It also barred him from election duty until further notice.

On Thursday, it revoked his suspension, but recommended that the Karnataka state government, to whom Mohsin now reports, carry out disciplinary action against him.

Mohsin claimed he was not at the spot when the alleged incident occurred.

“I was not at the spot when the incident happened. I am not aware of what happened at the helipad. I have only read media reports, which I can neither confirm nor deny,” he said.

Describing the events of the day, Mohsin said he had visited the helipad where the chopper of the Prime Minister was parked.

“The observer’s duty is to see that video teams are utilised in a proper manner. So, I advised them and left the place. I went to the venue of the function and sat there for five minutes in the police control room. By then the collector had joined me… Later, while sitting in the DC’s office, I got a call from the Deputy Chief Election Commissioner asking if I had ordered for frisking to be carried out, which I denied. He wanted a report and I replied. All of a sudden around 11.30 pm they suspended me,” he said.

EC’s order to revoke Mohsin’s suspension came hours after the Central Administrative Tribunal put the move on hold and asked both the EC and Mohsin to furnish responses within three weeks.

The CAT decides service complaints by government officers. It observed that during an election process, while reasonable assurances must be made to SPG protectees, it cannot be said that “they are eligible for anything and everything.”

“I got a stay through the CAT and the EC also revoked the suspension, but since the matter is subjudice I will have to consult my legal advisors. I will fight it out in the court because my conscience is clear,” he said.

First Published: Apr 27, 2019 07:22 IST