CBI has registered 5 preliminary enquiries for alleged irregularities in iron ore blocks cleared during the tenure of Jayanthi Natarajan in Environment Ministry.
The clearance to a few iron ore blocks in Jharkhand during the tenure of Jayanthi Natarajan in the Environment Ministry has been under the scanner of the CBI which has registered five preliminary enquiries (PEs) for alleged irregularities.
While Natarajan has not been named in any of the PEs, CBI sources said that her role in grant of clearances for the allocations was still under the scanner. However, she has not yet been examined by the CBI, sources said.
“There are five PEs registered by the CBI for irregularities in allocation of iron ore blocks during Jayanthi Natarajan’s tenure as Environment Minister. However, she was not personally named in any of the PEs. All five PEs continue to be in the enquiry stage. While it has not happened so far, she may be examined at a later stage,” a CBI source said.
The PEs have been registered against officials of the allottee companies, unknown officials of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and other unknown persons.
The allocations under the CBI scanner correspond to the irregularities pointed out in the M B Shah Commission report on illegal iron ore and manganese ore mining in Jharkhand, which had recommended independent probe into various cases. The Shah Commission had submitted its first report on illegal mining in Jharkhand in October 2013. On the basis of the report, it had also released a Memorandum of Action Taken report.