Parliament panel adopts report on Adarsh Housing Society scam

Parliament`s Public Accounts Committee adopted its report on Adarsh Housing Society in which it slammed Defence ministry and Maharashtra government for "monumental failure" at all levels.

PTI| Updated: Oct 17, 2013, 17:56 PM IST

New Delhi: Parliament`s Public Accounts Committee on Thursday adopted its report on Adarsh Housing Society in which it has slammed the Defence ministry and Maharashtra government for "monumental failure" at all levels of governance leading to a scam in it.
The PAC in its draft report on the Adarsh scam has said a group of select officials holding key posts subverted rules and regulations as also facts and took the ruse of welfare of servicemen, war widows and children.

Along with its report on Adarsh scam, it adopted two other reports on Defence Estates and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), sources said.

In its report on the Adarsh scam, the PAC said its scrutiny has "corroborated the irregularities in the entire process right from allocation of land to the society to obtaining `no objection certificate` (NoC) from the Army, extension of various concessions by the Government of Maharashtra, getting NoC from BEST for transfer of developmental rights of adjoining land, and obtaining clearances for residential development in Coastal Regulation Zone by certain officials who abused their official position for personal gain."

The report says when the Defence Ministry was asked how NoC was given to the society, it was informed that it was issued by the defence authorities "because of mismanagement of defence land, poor record keeping and lack of mutation of land already in possession of the Armed Forces."

Regarding security concerns, the PAC found these were ignored while constructing the 31-storey building in Colaba area.

While asking the government to ensure that such incidents are not repeated, the PAC refrained from making "further comments as the matter is still sub-judice" with respect to the title of the land and other concerned issues.

In its draft report on Defence Estates, the PAC slammed the armed forces for "gross misuse" of Golf courses under them and asked the Defence Ministry to hold an inquiry into the prohibited activities on defence land and take steps to check its abuse and misuse.

The panel observed that Golf cannot be considered a military activity and expressed shock over the fact that these golf clubs were giving memberships even to foreign diplomats in places such as Delhi.

In its draft report on Defence Estates, the Committee observed that clubs and parks meant for defence personnel were being exploited by civilians for parties and marriages and their proceeds were not being credited to the Government account.

"The Committee deplore the gross misuse of Golf courses and recommend that entire policy of Golf courses be revisited and remedial action be taken to ensure that facilities for armed forces personnel are not abused in any manner," the PAC said.

Golf is a popular activity among officers of armed forces and more than 90 golf courses have been established across the country in the last few decades.

On the misuse of the defence land for parks and clubs, the Committee asked the "Defence Ministry to set up an inquiry in the matter so that all encroachments and prohibited activities are detected and remedial action is taken to prevent misuse of defence parks and lands."

The Committee expressed surprise over an Army Chief`s decision in 2004 to declare Golf as a sports activity and naming Golf courses as Army Environmental Park and Training Area.

In its report on AERB, the PAC is understood to have expressed dismay after finding that a large number of X-ray facilities in the country were not registered.