Army set to probe Adarsh Society scam

The Army probe comes amid growing anger over the Adarsh Housing Society scam.

Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: Amid growing anger over the Adarsh Housing Society scam, the Army is all set to begin its own probe into the controversial allotment of flats to its retired and serving officers.

The Army, for now, has sought legal opinion on setting up a Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the issue and will likely issue orders for the same in a day or two.

The Army probe will focus on the role of some 40 officers.

There are also reports that the Army has already submitted a preliminary probe report to the Ministry of Defence and is awaiting its nod to take the investigation further.

The allotment of flats to officials of the armed forces, as well as to kins of politicians created furore after it came to light that the land on which the Society is built was originally meant for Kargil war widows.

The Society in upscale Colaba was originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil war heroes and widows, but due to collusion of corrupt politicians and Army officials got converted into a 31-storey building.

The development came amid continuing suspense over the fate of embattled Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan with a high-level Congress committee tasked to give a report on the housing scam saying it would need "more time" to do its job.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, heading the two-member committee, met fellow panel member Defence Minister AK Antony last night shortly after arrival from Kolkata and said that he would require some more time to go through the documents and prepare a report for Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

After Chavan offered to resign on Saturday during a meeting with Gandhi in connection with an alleged scam in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society, Gandhi had appointed a two-member panel to look into the matter.

TV reports yesterday alleged that more Congress and NCP leaders including three former Maharashtra chief ministers – Union Heavy Industry Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and current Revenue Minister Narayan Rane -- and Maharashtra minister Ajit Pawar, nephew of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had links with the controversial upscale project.

Deshmukh, Rane and Pawar denied the allegations of any links saying they had not recommended any cases for allotment of flats in the 31-storey housing complex while Shinde accused the media of making a hue and cry over the issue.

Questions were also being raised in the chief minister`s camp as how action can be taken against Chavan on the Adarsh issue when other Congress leaders from Maharashtra were also allegedly involved. Chavan spent the day here meeting Congress leaders.