My name doesn't figure in Lokayukta report: Lad

My name doesn't figure in Lokayukta report: Lad

Minister of State for Information and Infrastructure Santosh Lad has stated that his name does not figure anywhere in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining. He has also stated that he is in no way connected with the VSL Mining Company Pvt Ltd and is neither a director nor has any share in the company.

Lad’s response comes in the wake of a demand for his resignation from the Council of Ministers by the opposition BJP and other quarters following allegations by S R Hiremath, founder-president of Samaj Parivartana Samudaya, that his company was involved in illegal mining and figured in the Lokayukta report. The BJP has petitioned the Governor that he should direct the chief minister to remove him as minister.

Lad, in a written statement, has stated he is one of the partners of M/s V S Lad and Sons, a registered partnership firm in the field of mining since 1963. M/s VSL Mining Company was a separate legal entity and he is in no way connected with it.

Lad has claimed that in the Lokayukta report it has been wrongly assumed that VSL Company stood for V S Lad and Sons. Anil Lad and his wife Aarthi are the directors of VSL Mining Company.

“The mention in the report is wrongly on the assumption that there exists one concern VSL that is V S Lad and Sons, while in reality there are two entities, the other being VSL Mining Company Pvt Ltd,” Lad stated. He further states that in 2009-10 and 2010-11, it was VSL Mining Company that has exported iron ore from Belikere port and not V S Lad and Sons.

The minister has stated that his company M/s V S Lad and Sons has been placed in ‘C’ category because of overburden  dump and not due to illegal mining pit. He had quoted an observation made by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) in it is report that “the encroachment of V S Lad and Sons is only in respect of overburden dumps and exceeds the percentage (15%)  marginally that is by 0.17 per cent which could very well be due to the least count error used by the joint teams”.

Lad has stated that neither he nor his firm has been investigated either by the CID or the CBI.

Meanwhile, freedom fighter H S Doreswamy on Saturday wrote to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah urging him to drop Lad from the Council of
Ministers.

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