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CBI probe into Haryana forest scam likely

The CBI has conveyed its opinion to the Central Vigilance Commission in response to its query following a request by the Environment Ministry.



New Delhi: A multi-crore forest scam in
Haryana, allegedly involving a state minister, a legislator
and some bureaucrats, could be probed by the CBI as the
investigative agency has found the charges "worthy" of an
independent probe.

The CBI has conveyed its opinion to the Central Vigilance
Commission in response to its query following a request by the
Environment Ministry.

The Ministry had referred the matter to the CVC after
in-house inquiry found merit in allegations levelled by
whistle-blower Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi
that there was corruption in the setting up of a herbal park
on the private land of a legislator under pressure from a
state Cabinet Minister.

Chaturvedi also alleged financial irregularities like
siphoning of funds to the tune of crores of rupees in
plantation at the park in 2007 and 2008.

"The issues raised by Sanjiv Chaturvedi were analyzed in
CBI and were found to be worthy of an independent probe....

CBI is willing to take over investigation of this matter,
provided an FIR pertaining to the offences is first registered
with Haryana police and the state Government issues a
notification...," said the CBI`s letter to CVC, copy of which
is available.

After Chaturvedi blew the whistle, he was frequently
transferred and he complained of harassment to President
Pratibha Patil, who referred it to the Cabinet Secretariat.

Acting on the directions of the Cabinet Secretariat, the
Environment Ministry in 2010 constituted a two-member panel
which confirmed the harassment of Chaturvedi through 12
transfers in five years, suspension and "fabricated charge
sheet for exposing large-scale irregularities" in various
projects in the state.

The panel consisting of Inspector General of Forests A K
Srivastava, Assistant Inspector General Shally Ranjan had also
recommended quashing of the chargesheet and referring the
matter immediately to the CBI for the impartial investigation.
Accordingly, the chargesheet was quashed by the President
on January 19.
The panel, which probed the case, had also indicted
Haryana Chief Ministers Office, then forest minister, a
legislator and some senior state government officers for the
"harassment" of the Sanjiv Chaturvedi.

Haryana had rejected the findings of the enquiry
committee and asked the Environment Ministry to have a fresh
look at the case.

However, the Centre had rejected their demand.

PTI

From Zee News

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