The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has carried out search operations at corporate offices and other premises of Electrosteel Castings (ESL), promoter company of steel maker Electrosteel Steels, and residence of its managing director for alleged violation of forest act in Jharkhand. The search operations were carried out by the central investigating agency last Saturday relating to clearance given for diversion of forest land in Saranda forest, of Jharkhand’s Singbhum district in alleged violation of Forest (Coversion Act), 1980 in 2012, Electrosteel Steels said in a BSE filing on Monday.
Notably, the Kolkata bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in July had admitted State Bank of India’s petition against Electrosteel Steels for commencing insolvency proceedings, and appointed Dhaivat Anjaria, partner in PwC, as interim resolution professional (IRP). The company, which owes lenders Rs. 11,309 crore, was referred to the bankruptcy court under Section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) following a nudge from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The steel maker in the stock exchange filing informed that the CBI’s move was on the back of a first information report (FIR) dated September 7.
Significantly, the CBI 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 the alleged violation of laws. The central agency has registered FIR against Natarajan, and Umang Kejriwal, the then managing director of Electrosteel Castings. The permission was reportedly rejected by the Minister of State for Environment Jairam Ramesh but when Natarajan took the post, she allegedly cleared it.