Multi-cr forest scam: Natarajan seeks details from

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 20:09

New Delhi: Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan today sought details from officials of her ministry
after it was advised by the Central Vigilance Commission to
launch a CBI probe against politicians and bureaucrats in
Haryana, allegedly involved in a multi-crore forest scam.

Sources said the officials have been asked to brief the
minister about the communication of the CVC and its advice to
the ministry to ask the Haryana government to file an FIR
after which the case can be transferred to the CBI.

In response to CVC`s query following a request by the
Environment Ministry, the CBI had conveyed its opinion to CVC
saying the scam could be probed as the investigative agency
has found the charges "worthy" of an independent probe.

The ministry had referred the matter to the CVC after
in-house inquiry found merit in allegations levelled by 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.

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

The Haryana cadre IFS officer was frequently transferred
and suspended for exposing scam 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
headed by Inspector General of Forests A K Srivastava which
confirmed the harassment of Chaturvedi and recommended
quashing of the charge sheet and referring the matter
immediately to the CBI for the impartial investigation.

The charge sheet was quashed by President on January 19.

Haryana had rejected the findings of the inquiry panel
and asked the Union Ministry to have a fresh look at the case.
The Centre had rejected the demand.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 20:09

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