CBI files FIR against former union minister Jayanti Natarajan for criminal conspiracy, alleged corruption
Chennai/Tamil Nadu, September 9: The officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation are carrying out searches at the premises of Jayanthi Natarajan, the former Environment minister. Raids are being conducted at the former Congress leader’s properties in Chennai. The Central Bureau of Investigation is investigating an alleged diversion of forestland by two private companies for mining purposes when Jayanthi Natarajan was the minister.
The raids are questionable to be part of the investigation. According to reliable sources, two cases were registered against unknown officials of the Environment Ministry, Jindal Steel and Power Limited and JSW Steel Limited for alleged diversion of forest land for mining purposes in Jharkhand by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Jayanti Natarajan, who was earlier a self-acclaimed Gandhi family loyalist exited the party in 2015. She also accused Rahul Gandhi of interfering with decision-making during her tenure as minister in the United Progressive Alliance II.
The Central Bureau of Investigation is investigating two cases of irregularities in granting environmental clearances for coal blocks in Jharkhand. First, there were accusations that unknown officials from the ministry, during Jayanthi Natarajan’s tenure as the minister, extended favours to Jindal Steel.
Now, it is accused that the officials aided the grant of clearance for diversion of 512-hectare Saranda forest land between 2007 and 2013. The Central Bureau of Investigation is continuously investigating allegations of irregularities in the approval granted to JSW Steel in 2013 for diversion of forest land in the Ankua Reserve for mining purposes. In 2015, the Central Bureau of Investigation said that Jayanthi Natarajan may be questioned since the alleged irregularities took place during her tenure.