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Odisha

The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday has revoked its suspension order of Mohammed Mohsin, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who was removed from the post of general observer for giving order to check in the convoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in breach of the poll watchdog’s guidelines.

But even the suspension is revoked, EC has debarred Mohsin from taking up any election duty till further orders. As Mohsin is a 1996 batch IAS officer from Karnataka cadre the EC has also recommended the Karnataka government to initiate disciplinary action against the officer. He is at present serving as a secretary in Karnataka’s Backward Class Welfare Department and was posted in Sambalpur on election duty.

Mohammed Mohsin was suspended on last Tuesday after he checked the vehicle in Sambalpur, where the PM addressed an election rally. Mohsin was transferred to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer in Bengaluru later. It was alleged by the EC that Mohsin violated its instructions that SPG (Special Protection Group) protectees should not be checked.

Quoting News18 here, “Mohsin, who moved the tribunal in Bengaluru, told the bench he had taken permission from an SPG official, who had agreed that Modi’s helicopter could be videographed from a distance. However, the SPG later complained to the Election Commission.” The EC’s order came hours after the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) stayed Mohsin’s suspension order. The tribunal also issued notices to the EC as well as four others and directed them to respond within four weeks. The tribunal 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”.

The CAT also took note of the plea of the applicant’s counsel who said there were news about heavy packages unloaded from prime minister’s cavalcade being taken away in other vehicle. Questions were raised but apparently no action followed, it said.

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