'I'm fighting for myself in the dark': Officer who checked PM's chopper
NEW DELHI: The officer facing action for checking Prime Minister Narendra Modi's helicopter said on Friday that he was "doing my duty" and would go to the court for justice. Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Mohammed Mohsin was suspended last week.
On Thursday, his suspension was revoked but the Election Commission has recommended disciplinary action against him. "I was doing my duty. On the spur of the moment they have suspended me. I have not received a single report. I am fighting for myself in the dark," he reportedly told a news channel. Mohsin, who checked PM Modi's helicopter in Odisha's Sambalpur, had been suspended for "not acting in conformity" with instructions on Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel, said an Election Commission order.
There is no rule that exempts anyone from such checks during polls, a fact that opposition parties like the Congress flagged in tweets condemning the move. Mohammad Mohsin, a 1996-batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer, was accused of "insubordination and dereliction of duty". Reports say as a general observer of Sambalpur constituency, the officer had carried out a sudden check of PM Modi's helicopter, which delayed the Prime Minister by 15 minutes.
Cancelling the suspension, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) said, "it cannot be said that SPG protectees are eligible for anything and everything" and that "election officials have checked private vehicles of [Karnataka] Chief Minister Shri [HD] Kumaraswamy more than once and no action followed... the Chief Minister of Odisha's vehicles were also checked."
Shortly after the order, the Election Commission revoked the suspension, asking the officer to report back to the Karnataka government. However, holding him guilty of "dereliction of duty", it has recommended the state government initiate disciplinary action against him.