Adarsh scam: MoD to recommend "comprehensive" action

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 23:40

New Delhi: As the Indian Navy submitted
its report on the Adarsh Housing Society scam on Wednesday, the
Defence Ministry indicated it would come down heavily on the
culprits, who hoodwinked the system, by Monday, saying the
action it recommends would be so "comprehensive" as to serve
as a "preventive" step against future recurrences.

"The Navy has submitted its report on the Adarsh
Society issue. We are studying the reports submitted by Army,
Defence Estates and the Navy to collate all relevant
information. The punitive action will come on Monday and it
will be so comprehensive that it would prevent such scams from
occurring in the future," Defence Ministry sources said here.
The Navy, sources said, had raised serious security
concerns over the 31-storey building in a military zone,
thereby compromising the several sensitive installations
including a naval air base nearby.

Its report also noted that the building had come up
with the security perimeter of its installations and it could
be a high risk to its installations, as it was possible to
monitor the activities of the naval base easily from it.

In fact, the security concerns were shared by the
Army too in its report submitted last week to the Defence
Ministry, sources said, pointing out that it wanted the
ministry to get to the bottom of the issue of how the land was
alienated by officers posted locally in 1999.

The Army was in "de facto" possession of the
6,490-sqmt plot of land since the early 1990s and had used it
as a training location for its troops in the metropolis.

With these strong recommendations from the Army and
the Navy, the Defence Ministry is likely to take a concrete
view on the action it wanted to be taken against the personnel
responsible for the housing society coming up there and
against the promoters of the 100-metre high complex.

Already, the ministry is mulling action against its
personnel and society promoters, including recommending probes
by CBI and Income Tax, apart from complete take over of the
building or demolishing it citing security and environment
concerns, after it was stung by the Adarsh Housing Society
episode recently.
However, sources said the ministry had not yet
approached the CBI to probe the case.

An informal expert group of ministry officials would
meet over the weekend to take a final call on the punitive
action in the case and to collate all information from the
three reports from the Army, Navy and Defence Estates
directorate.

An initial probe ordered by Defence Minister A K
Antony into the scam had concluded that there "prima facie"
was "a criminal conspiracy" by defence personnel, who had
"colluded" with the promoters of the housing society.

The Army had in its report admitted that its officers
in Mumbai had issued a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to the
society to construct the housing complex in 1999.

The Navy, though, was not even approached by the
promoters for an NOC.

The Army said its headquarters here was kept in the
dark by local officers on the transfer of the land, which was
in its possession for over 60 years, to the housing society.

In the 104-apartment building, that had provision for
flats for Kargil widows and martyrs` families, Army, Navy and
Defence Estate personnel, both serving and retired, apart from
politicians and their relatives were allotted 40 flats.

Former Army Chiefs Gen Deepak Kapoor and Gen N C Vij,
former Navy Chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh, former Union
Minister Suresh Prabhu and relatives of Maharashtra Chief
Minister Ashok Chavan were among the allottees.

Some of the allottees from the services and defence
estates were also part of the chain of command that had
"colluded" with Adarsh Society promoters to transfer the land
from the Army`s possession and to obtain an NOC.

The Army has already indicated that it was all set to
institute a court of inquiry into the episode to fix the role
of its serving officers.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 23:40

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