New Delhi: CBI is likely to question former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan for alleged irregularities in granting environment clearances and mining rights to five companies. The news came just after Natarajan quit Congress leaving behind a bundle of controversies.
As per the sources she will soon be called to know the logic behind her decisions. They said the agency will soon be examining former environment minister to know what were the changes in the circumstances which led to the permission being given for the diversion of the ecologically-sensitive area for mining operations.
The CBI has registered five preliminary enquiries. Last October CBI registered two PEs against unknown environment ministry officials, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and JSW Steel. The agency later registered another PE to probe clearances to Rungta Mines in Ghatkuri Reserve Forest of Jharkhand and two more enquiries.
Some of her decisions were contradicted by her cabinet colleague Jairam Ramesh. CBI sources say they have Ramesh's letter to Natarajan and its part of evidence.
Addressing a packed press conference, an emotional Natarajan welcomed any inquiry into decisions taken by her as Minister, including a CBI probe.
Issue of green clearance was indeed a major irritant during Jayanthi Natarajan's tenure (2011-13) as environment minister, not only for private industries but also for public projects and defence infrastructure.
In a letter to Sonia Gandhi, Jayanthi mentioned that she felt marginalized and humiliated after being removed from the post of environment minister and then as Congress spokesperson a month later. She also stated that despite repeated requests, she was not given a reason for her removal from the post.