New Delhi: CBI has registered fresh three Preliminary Enquiries (PEs) to probe clearnaces given to companies during the tenure of the then Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan and she may be called soon for clarifications.
With this, the number of PEs registered by the CBI has risen to five.The agency maintained complete silence about the details of the fresh PEs which were registered earlier this month. When contacted, Joint Director (Policy) R S Bhatti, who is also the in-charge of media relations in the agency, did not respond to queries related to the three inquiries.
The agency had registered two PEs last year in October against unknown officials of environment ministry and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and JSW Steel.
The sources said several environment ministry officials have been examined in connection with the clearances granted during Natarajan's tenure which has prompted the CBI to examine her in connection with the probe. CBI has also examined state government officials and gone through documents. The agency wants to know from Natarajan the rationale of clearing some files while holding back clearances in some matters, the sources said.
The sources said agency has also got a letter in which her predecessor Jairam Ramesh had questioned clearances given to some companies. CBI sources said the inquiry has been initiated against unknown officials of JSPL and Environment Ministry for alleged irregularities in diversion of Saranda forest land in Jharkhand between 2007-13.