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CBI lodges FIR against former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, conducts searches in Chennai

The CBI carried out searches at the premises of former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan in Chennai after registering an FIR against her in connection with alleged anomalies in environment clearance in Jharkhand during her tenure.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 9, 2017 10:33:27 pm
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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday carried out searches at the premises of former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan in Chennai after registering an FIR against her in connection with alleged anomalies in environment clearance in Jharkhand during the previous UPA regime. An FIR has been filed against Natarajan, Umang Kejriwal, the then managing director of Electrosteel Casting Limited, and the company besides other unidentified persons.

The case is related to clearance given for diversion of forest land in Saranda Forest, Singhbhum District in Jharkhand to mining company Electrosteel in alleged violation of Forest (Conservation Act) in 2012. She was Minister of State for Environment with independent charge of the ministry between 2011 and 2013.

The 63-year-old allegedly gave the permission after former environment minister Jairam Ramesh rejected the nod for the same. “Jayanthi Natarajan, the then Minister of State for Environment and Forests 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 alleged.

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The agency also said Natarajan allegedly gave the approval without adhering to the advice of Director General Forests and directions of Supreme Court in this regard.

In 2015, Natarajan had quit the Congress party after mounting a direct attack on Rahul and Sonia Gandhi.

With PTI inputs

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