DEO has no records over ownership of Adarsh plot, panel told
Mumbai: There is no record to show that the land where the controversial Adarsh Housing Society stands is owned by Army, a judicial panel was told on Monday even as an defence official claimed the Maharashtra government was once
informed that the land does not belong to the Army.
"The Defence Estate Office (DEO) which maintains all
defence land records has no entry of Adarsh land in the
Military Land Register. There is no record or files to show
that army owns the land where Adarsh stands," defence estate
officer Geeta Kashyap, the second witness to depose before the
commission probing the scam, said.
However, Major General SS Jog, then administrative
staff officer to the General Officer in Command (GOC) of the
state army headquarters, admitted in an affidavit filed on Monday
to have written a letter to Mumbai Collector stating that the
land where Adarsh building stands does not belong to the Army.
"Army had on March 29, 2000 received a letter from the
collector intimating about request made by the Adarsh Housing
Society to the government of Maharashtra seeking allotment of
land. The DEO on March 30 told the army headquarters that the
land in question where the proposed society wants to come up
belongs to the state government and fell beyond defence
boundary," the affidavit stated.
On April 5, 2000 the army headquarters issued a reply
to the collector stating that since the land falls beyond
defence boundary, necessary action may be taken to allot the
same for a housing society for ex-servicemen and Army
officials, it further said.
"The letter of April 2000 to the collector was signed
by me after approval and directions from my GOC AR Kumar,"
Jog said in the affidavit. Kumar owns a flat in the society
and is one of the accused in the scam.
In a related development, the probe panel extended
till May 26 the time given to union ministers Sushil Kumar
Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh and former Maharashtra chief
minister Ashok Chavan to file their affidavits.
The trio were issued summons by the commission early
this month to appear before it as witnesses. The commission
had given them an option of filing their reply by today.
The trio had during their tenures as chief ministers
of Maharashtra had dealt with files pertaining to Adarsh
Society. Chavan has been named as an accused by CBI in its