Karnataka bureaucrat gets show-cause notice for tweet on ‘godi media’

Published : May 03, 2020 14:04 IST

Mohammad Mohsin. A file picture. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Mohammad Mohsin, a senior IAS officer of the Karnataka cadre who is currently serving as secretary of the Backward Classes Welfare Department has received a show-cause notice from the government of Karnataka regarding a tweet he made on April 27. Mohsin’s tweet, since deleted, questioned media bias and read, “More than 300 Tablighi Heroes are donating their plasma to serve the country in New Delhi only. What about? #GodiMedia? They will not show the works of Humanity done by these Heroes.” (sic)

The show-cause notice dated April 30 has been sent from the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, and says, “The adverse coverage this tweet has got in the media has been taken note seriously by the government given the serious nature of Covid-19 issue and the sensitivities involved.”

The notice goes on to ask Mohsin why this tweet “should not be construed as a violation of Rule 7 of All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, and why disciplinary action should not be initiated against you as per the provisions of All India Services (D&A) Rules, 1969”. Rule seven of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, pertains to ‘Criticism of Government’ in public media.

Speaking to Frontline, Mohsin said, “I have not criticised the government but have questioned the role of the biased media in their coverage of the Tablighi issue. So how is this a violation of Rule 7?” The Tablighi issue that Mohsin mentioned referred to the manner in which sections of the mainstream media attacked the Tablighi Jamaat for not taking sufficient precautions while congregating for a religious event at their centre in Nizamuddin in Delhi in March.

Mohsin added that he would be filing his response before May 5 explaining how his tweet could not be construed as criticism of the government. Mohsin was in the news last year when, as a poll officer, he had ordered a search of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter at an election rally in Odisha.

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