Land scams force Defence Ministry to change its NOC policy
New Delhi: In the wake of various land scams hitting the armed forces, the Defence Ministry has decided to change its policies related to granting `No Objection Certificates` (NOCs).
"After Adarsh (society scam), we have taken a decision to computerise entire land records with the Defence Estates so that nobody can play with them. We are also going to change
the policy of granting NOCs," Defence Minister A K Antony told reporters but did not specify what alterations could be made.
He said that ten years ago, the management of defence land was not as desired and there were several cases of encroachments but with the new changes, the situation would
improve in future.
The Minister was responding when asked about the action taken by the government in the cases of land scams like those involving Adarsh society in Mumbai, Sukna in West Bengal
and the latest Kandivali again in Mumbai.
These scams have been related to granting of NOCs to
private builders, allowing them to construct structures on
military land or plots adjacent to sensitive bases.
A number of senior serving and retired officers
including three former Services chiefs are facing allegations
in these scams.
Asked about the Adarsh case, the Minister said, "CBI
is already carrying out investigations. We are expecting them
to soon file a report in this regard."
Commenting on the latest scam in Kandivili allegedly
involving former Minister Rao Inderjit Singh and former Army
Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor, Antony said, “We have already received
the report and we are examining it."
He said that in large organisations like the Defence
forces, complaints would be there.
"What matters is whether action is taken against them
or not. We are taking action whenever we receive any complaint
and we look into them," the Defence Minister said.
He asserted that "there will be no cover up and there
is no question of showing generosity to the accused but there
will be no vendetta."
On the issue related to the secret file, which went
missing and was later recovered by a roadside, Antony said,
the Ministry was waiting for the IAF report in this regard.
After the secret file was recovered from the roadside
in a locality here, the Defence Ministry and the IAF had
ordered two separate probes to look into the matter.
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