Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Credit: INC
Last month, the Election Commission suspended an officer, deputed as a general observer in Odisha, for allegedly checking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter in Sambalpur. The commission argued Mohammed Mohsin, a 1996-batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer, had violated the EC’s instructions concerning Special Protection Group (SPG) protectees.
The EC was responding to a ground report sent by the district collector and the deputy inspector general of police.
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) later stayed the EC’s suspension order. The EC revoked the suspension and recommended disciplinary action against him.
Mohsin’s fate is in marked contrast to other government officials who have subjected VVIP aircraft to a physical search during the elections. In February 1985, A.L. Banerjee, then a superintendent of police (SP) for Gorakhpur Rural in Uttar Pradesh, had occasion to search the aircraft the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was using to campaign for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.