A senior IAS officer, posted in the Commerce and Industries Department, has shot a letter to the chief secretary Subhash Chandra Khuntia, principal secretary to the chief minister L K Ateeq and IAS Officers Association president P Ravikumar alleging abuse and threat from a Congress minister.
Rajender Kumar Kataria, the secretary in the Commerce and Industries Department, said that legislator K Shivamurthy Naik ‘abused and threatened’ him for not clearing his son's application over granting a mining lease.
Naik, however, has refused the allegations and told PTI, “There is CCTV camera. Let people see whether I attacked him."
In his letter, Kataria said Naik barged into his office on Monday and demanded he immediately approve the pending file submitted by his son Suraj Naik.
The IAS officer said the MLA's son Suraj had applied for grant of ornamental quarry lease in six acres of land in survey number 78 in Siddeshwaranadurga village in Challakere taluk in 2015.
Kataria said it was not possible for him to favour somebody by violating rules.
"After this incident, I met the chief minister and told him that under these circumstances, it will become difficult for me to discharge my duties. I had the option to lodge a police complaint but I avoided it," he said.
"When the Supreme Court is closely monitoring the mining business in Karnataka, it is not possible to favour anybody," he further told PTI.
He claimed that the application filed by Suraj was ‘ineligible’ as per the rules.
The officer said that Naik mentioned that he is the government and his orders have to be complied with.
"You are my servant and if you do not listen to my orders, you have to face dire consequences in future," Kataria quoted the MLA as saying.
The IAS officer, in his letter, said, "He has not only abused me before the public, but also stated that I had looted money in this department and I was not willing to do the work of his son overruling the legal position."
Naik, however, refuted the charges of abusing or attacking the officer.
He said he heads the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes welfare legislature committee and wanted to meet the officer for the welfare of the underprivileged community.
"I went to meet Kataria to impress upon him that there should be reservation for SC/ST in the mining business. There should be at least 25 per cent reservation for us also," the MLA said.
When asked about his son Suraj's application for mining in six acres of land, the MLA said, "Suraj is secondary. It is about us 35 MLAs, 10 MLCs from all the parties and lakhs of people from SC/ST community who have been deprived of our share in the mining business."
The MLA has been embroiled in trouble and accused of abusing his power earlier as well. In 2013, teachers who worked in schools owned by him asked the CM to keep Naik out of the State Cabinet alleging that he had withheld their service registers.
Last year, he sat on a dharna protesting his exclusion from the Cabinet after a reshuffle.
(With inputs from PTI)