Adarsh probe: Defence officials compromised on security threat
Mumbai: Several Defence Ministry officials,
who had vested interests in the Adarsh Housing Society scam,
had compromised on the security threat from the high-rise
building in upscale south Mumbai, a Brigadier from the Army's
state headquarters here said.
"Senior officials like retired Major General TK Kaul and
AR Kumar and several others were interested parties in the
Adarsh Society and hence compromised their stand on the
security threat faced by the Army due to the construction of
the building," Brigadier Deepak Saxena, from the Army's
Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa Headquarters, told the two-member
inquiry commission here.
The Brigadier told the commission that he would submit
tomorrow a list of the officers who misused their official
position to favour Adarsh Society.
The commission, set up by Maharashtra government to probe
the Adarsh scam, was recording the evidence of Saxena, the
first witness, regarding ownership of the land where the
31-storey building stands.
Referring to a letter dated September 30, 2004 signed by
Colonel BK Sinha to the Defence headquarters in Delhi stating
there was no security risk to the Army because of the Adarsh
building, Saxena said, "Sinha had no vested interest but he
had written that letter at the behest of his senior officer
Major General TK Kaul."
Kaul, who has been named as an accused by the CBI, was in
2004 the General Officer in Command (GOC) of the state Army
headquarters. Sinha had issued the letter in response to a
query raised by Defence headquarters regarding the security
threat due to the building.
Saxena also pointed out to a 'No Objection letter'
issued by Colonel SS Joe on April 5, 2000 allegedly at the
behest of major general AR Kumar, who was the then GOC.
"Kumar is a member of the Adarsh Society and his son
has a flat there. He has also been named as an accused by the
CBI," the Brigadier said.
He, however, said that the Defence Ministry had not
taken any action despite being aware of the construction of a
high rise building on their land since 2004.
Senior public prosecutor Dipan Merchant, while
cross-examining Saxena, pointed out several loopholes in the
Defence Ministry's claim to ownership of the land.
"In 1968, Military Estate Officer PM Dudhani had
written a letter to the Mumbai Collector stating that Block 6,
the plot where Adarsh building stands, was never given to the
Army by the state government," Merchant said.
Saxena told the commission he would verify this letter
and give his reply on Wednesday.