Antony recommends CBI probe into Adarsh scam

Stung by the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai, Defence Minister AK Antony Tuesday recommended a CBI probe to fix responsibility of the armed forces and defence estates officers in the episode.

Last Updated: Nov 09, 2010, 12:39 PM IST

New Delhi: Stung by the Adarsh Housing
Society scam in Mumbai, Defence Minister AK Antony Tuesday
recommended a CBI probe to fix responsibility of the armed
forces and defence estates officers in the episode.

He also asked the CBI to look into the circumstances
under which a No Objection Certificate was issued to the
Housing Society to construct the 31-storey building on a piece
of land, which was in the "de facto" possession of the Army.

The probe agency will also investigate into the
commitments made for allotment of flats in the 104-apartment
society for Kargil widows and martyrs` families.

The CBI probe comes after Maharashtra Chief Minister
Ashok Chavan, whose family members were allottees in the
Adarsh Society, resigned over his alleged involvement in the
scam.

"The Ministry of Defence has asked the Central Bureau
of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a detailed probe into the
Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam and fix responsibility
for any lapses," Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar

said here in a press release.

"Among other things, CBI has been asked to look into
the circumstances under which No Objection Certificate (NOC)
was issued and possession of the land in question was
relinquished even though there was a deficiency of land for
Army purposes in Mumbai.

The CBI will also probe the extent to which the
commitments for welfare of war widows/service personnel were
complied with," he said.

The scam came to light after Western Naval Commander
Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin shot off a letter to the Army
headquarters and the Defence Ministry seeking action against
the building for posing a security threat to military
installations.

The 6490-sqmt land was within the security perimeter
of the naval base in the upscale Colaba region of south
Mumbai, Admiral Bhasin had noted in his letter.

However, it also came to light that former Army Chiefs
General Deepak Kapoor and General N C Vij, apart from former
Navy Chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh too had flats allotted in
their name in the housing society that had promised to
provision apartments for families of Kargil martyrs.

Soon after the scam hit headlines, the Defence
Ministry asked the Army, Navy and the Defence Estates to
submit a report on the issue.

The preliminary findings of the ministry`s probe
brought out "criminal conspiracy" at the local level in Army
and Defence Estates to alienate the land, which was in Army`s
possession till 1999-2000, in favour of the Housing Society.

Also, over 40 officers from the armed forces and
Defence Estates too had got flats allotted in the society.

PTI