BENGALURU: A senior IAS officer was allegedly threatened and abused by a Congress MLA for refusing to clear a file granting mining lease to the MLA’s son.Rajender Kumar Kataria, Secretary, Commerce and Industries Department (MSME and Mines), has accused Shivamurthy Naik, Congress MLA from Mayakonda constituency of Davangere, of abusing and threatening him and even preventing him from discharging his duties. In a letter to Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Kataria stated that the MLA threatened him in his office on Monday (October 9).
According to the letter, Naik who is also chairman of the state legislative committee for SC/ST welfare, came to Kataria’s chamber on Monday, hurled abuses and allegedly called himself the ‘government’ and addressed Kataria as his ‘servant’. “If you don’t follow my orders, be ready to face dire consequences,” the letter quoted Naik as saying.
Naik allegedly wanted Kataria to grant permission for an ornamental granite quarry lease on six acres in Challakere taluk. In 2015, the MLA’s son Suraj S Naik had sought the lease. According to the Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession rules, lease can be granted only via auction. Final draft notification in 2016 stated that whoever applied for lease before August 12, 2016, are ineligible and therefore Suraj’s application was also not considered.
Naik moved High Court to consider his application and the court on August 16 directed ines and geology department to dispose the application within six weeks. As per court order, Suraj appeared for hearing on September 7 where he sought time to produce NOCs from the authorities. The matter is pending before the directorate of mines and geology.
MLA denies abusing IAS officer
Having being accused of threatening and abusing a senior IAS officer, Congress MLA Shivamurthy Naik denied all the allegations.Speaking to Express, Naik claimed he did not use foul language against the officer. He said that he was denied licence because he was a Dalit. “I went to seek justice. There are no Dalits in mining activities and these departments get offended when we demand our rights under SC/ST welfare act,” he said. Chief Secretary Subhash Chandra Khuntia told Express, “I have received the letter from Rajender. We will look into the matter.”
MLA, a serial abuser?
This is the second instance where Naik has been accused of allegedly threatening a bureaucrat. In January this year, he had threatened another senior IAS officer Ajay Seth demanding grant-in aid for five educational institutions. The IAS Officers’ Association of Karnataka had then approached Chief Minister Siddaramaiah seeking action against Naik.