Defence Estates dept needs clean up: Antony

With several of Defence Estates officials allegedly involved in the Adarsh scam, Defence Minister A K Antony made it clear that the department needs to be "cleaned up" and that the new chief has been appointed with this purpose.

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2010, 18:47 PM IST

New Delhi: With several of Defence Estates officials allegedly involved in the Adarsh scam, Defence Minister A K Antony made it clear that the department needs to be "cleaned up" and that the new chief has been appointed with this purpose.

Antony also rejected BJP leader Jaswant Singh`s
contention that the CBI inquiry into the scam would dampen the morale of the armed forces, saying the recommendation for such a step came from Army Chief Gen V K Singh himself.

"We are giving more attention to Defence Estates. A new
Director General (Ashok Harnal) has joined and I told him that
his first task is to clean up the organisation," Antony told
reporters here.

The Defence Minister was asked if the Directorate
General of Defence Estates, which looks after the properties
of Defence Ministry, has been issued any instructions in wake
of allegations of several officials being involved in the scam
of improper allotment of flats meant for kin of Kargil war
victims.

Asked to comment on Jaswant Singh`s criticism of the
CBI inquiry into the scam, Antony said, "It is not a political
decision" but had been ordered on the recommendation of the
Army Chief.

"The Army Chief, after analysing the whole thing, said
the issue is so complex and serious and we must have a CBI
inquiry," the Defence Minister said.

Antony ordered CBI probe into the alleged scam yesterday
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 the commitments
made for allotment of flats in the 104-apartment society for
Kargil widows and martyrs` families.

Names of former Army Chiefs Gen Deepak Kapoor and Gen N
C Vij, besides former Navy Chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh
figure in the list of allottees in the housing society that
was meant for families of Kargil martyrs.

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

PTI