CAT stays suspension of IAS officer who searched PM Modi’s chopper

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The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Thursday stayed the Election Commission’s move to suspend an IAS officer who, as a poll observer, had searched the helicopter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Odisha’s Sambalpur during a campaign rally last week.

The poll watchdog revoked Mohammed Mohsin’s suspension shortly after the CAT passed the interim order, but barred him from election duty and recommended disciplinary action against him to the Karnataka government.

The poll panel, simultaneously, also warned the District Election Officer (DEO) of Sambalpur for his involvement in the helicopter search.

The EC order states that the revocation of Mohsin’s suspension, the ban on poll duty and the recommendation for disciplinary action against him, is based on the findings of a 32-page report submitted by Deputy Election Commissioner Dharmendra Sharma.

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Sharma is learnt to have found that Mohsin had violated instructions regarding SPG protectees. “The officer (Sharma) concerned spoke to all parties involved, including the suspended officer, and it was found that he (Mohsin) went out of his way to search (the helicopter), when the instructions clearly provide exemption,” said an EC official.

The poll body had suspended Mohsin last week stating that he ‘had not acted in conformity’ with instructions on SPG protectees, which includes the Prime Minister. Opposition parties had opposed the order saying the officer had not broken any rule.

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