Published On: Sat, Sep 9th, 2017

CBI books former union minister Jayanthi Natarajan for corruption

New Delhi: The CBI on Saturday said it has registered an FIR against former Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan in connection with allegedly granting speedy environment clearance for setting up industries in lieu of huge bribes.

The FIR against Natarajan, who held the post in the UPA-II government, was registered on Thursday

Natarajan had allegedly given clearance during her tenure for diversion of forest land for mining in alleged violation of laws.

The CBI alleged that Natarajan, as the environment minister during UPA rule, abused her official position while giving clearances to Electosteel Casting Limited, a private company in Jharkhand, in violation of the existing mining laws, environment laws and directions of the Supreme Court.

“Jayanthi Natarajan accorded the approval for diversion of 55.79 hectares of forest land for non-forestry use to ECL, though the same had been rejected by the earlier minister of state … without any change in the circumstances after rejection,” the CBI FIR said.

It may be mentioned here that the central anti-corruption agency had registered five Preliminary Enquiry (PE) in 2015 to probe alleged irregularities committed by Natarajan and others while giving clearances to several projects.

After the anomalies became public, Natarajan was removed as the environment minister by the Congress.

Notably after her removal from the council of minister, Natarajan had written an explosive letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi alleging that it was on Rahul Gandhi’s directives that she had red-flagged big-ticket projects in the environment ministry.

The Central Bureau of Investigation also conducted multiple raids at the properties of Natarajan in Delhi, Chennai and other cities.

The FIR against Natarajan, who held the post in the UPA-II government, was registered on Thursday.

 

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