Multi-cr forest scam: Natarajan seeks details from officials | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Multi-cr forest scam: Natarajan seeks details from officials

delhi Updated: Jan 11, 2012 20:05 IST

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Environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan on Wednesday 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.