In yet another tough action against corruption, the CBI registered a corruption case today against former Union environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan. The CBI raided her premises in Chennai today. The case filed against Jayanthi relates to irregularities that occurred in the transfer of forest land for mining purposes. Certain decisions related to the land transfer that were taken during Jayanthi’s tenure have been found to have violated the laws. It has been alleged by CBI that Jayanthi misused her position as the environment minister during the UPA regime. She allegedly gave clearances to a private company named Electosteel Casting Limited (ECL) in Jharkhand. The CBI has alleged that this clearance was against the prevailing mining and environmental laws as well as contrary to the directions provided by the Supreme Court.
In the FIR filed against Jayanthi, the CBI states that Jayanthi approved the diversion of 55.79 hectares of forest land for non-forestry use. It has also been pointed out that the earlier minister had rejected the ECL’s proposal. The land transfer was approved by Jayanthi even when there was no change in the circumstances or prevailing rules. The probe against Jayanthi had begun in 2015, when the CBI had filed five Preliminary Enquiries (PEs) in connection with irregularities related to decisions taken by Jayanthi. Former director of ECL Umang Kejriwal has also been named in the FIR. Jayanthi is expected to be called for questioning soon.