The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday carried out searches at the premises of former Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan after registering an FIR against her in connection with clearance given during her tenure for diversion of forest land for mining in alleged violation of laws.
The agency has registered its FIR against Natarajan, Umang Kejriwal, the then managing director of Electrosteel Casting Limited, and the company besides other unidentified persons.
The case pertains 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.
The permission was rejected by the Minister of State for Environment Jairam Ramesh but when Natarajan took the post, she allegedly cleared it.
"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.
It said this approval had been accorded without adhering to the advice of Director General Forests and directions of Supreme Court in this regard.