The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which recently arrested a deputy director of the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) on bribery charges, has decided to investigate all clearances given by him.
The agency has begun gathering files and other details related to the projects for which the accused official, Neeraj Kumar Khatri, had given a go-ahead, said a CBI source.
“It is suspected that the accused officer could have used a number of middlemen to get cash in lieu of his irregular clearances to projects, which we will scan now. We are also scrutinising some incriminating data recovered by us, including hard disks, for clues,” said the source.
The source added, “He was in the ministry for around seven years, but was giving environmental clearances to projects for the past four years.” The agency will soon begin quizzing suspects as part of its probe.
Khatri was nabbed red-handed when he was allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs. 7 lakh from an alleged broker, Chinmaya Shrichandan, in lieu of his promised clearance to a limestone-mining project in Sundargarh, Odisha.