J&K: CBI to probe Defence land scam in Srinagar

The CBI will initiate a probe against "unknown" officials of Defence Ministry for alleged irregularities in the sale of land near Srinagar airport.

Last Updated: Nov 27, 2011, 19:16 PM IST

New Delhi: The CBI has decided to initiate a
probe against "unknown" officials of Defence Ministry and
revenue personnel of Jammu and Kashmir Government for alleged
irregularities in the sale of land near the high-security
Srinagar airport.

CBI sources said that the Preliminary Enquiry (PE) was
registered last evening against officials of Directorate
General of Defence Estates following a request from the
Defence Ministry to probe the sanction of No Objection
Certificate (NoC) for sale of land to private persons around
the airport, which is one of the strategic installations in
the Kashmir Valley.

The sources said a team of the CBI would now examine all
records of DGDE and revenue records of the state government.

Defence Minister AK Antony had recently informed
Parliament that on receipt of complaint, a preliminary inquiry
was conducted during which it was found that prima-facie there
have been irregularities in the issuance of NOCs which may
have wider implications.

During the preliminary probe of the Defence Ministry, it
was found that more than 70 NOCs were issued by the defence
estates department in Srinagar during the last four years.

These NOCs were issued to private parties to buy more than
200 acres of land near high-security military installations in
Srinagar.

According to the probe report of the Defence Ministry,
some of the land belonging to defence remains in the name of
private persons or state government in revenue records which
is a cause of concern as a few persons may take advantage
and enter into fraudulent sale/purchase transaction.

DGDE looks after the land for training, ranges, depots,
airfields, quartering, camping and offices for military
activities. Ministry of Defence owns large tracts of
land of 17.53 lakh acres nearly, out of which approximately
1.57 lakh acres is situated within the 62 notified
Cantonments and about 15.96 lakh acres is outside these
Cantonments.

PTI