Adarsh scam: Navy gives report to defence ministry

November 3rd, 2010 - 8:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Nov 3 (IANS) The Indian Navy Wednesday submitted its report to the defence ministry on the Adarsh housing society scam involving some serving and retired officers of the armed forces.

There were no details available on the navy report which, sources said, had some recommendations on the possible action against any officer found guilty in the scam that has “upset” Defence Minister A.K. Antony after names of armed forces officers cropped up.

The defence minister Tuesday sought reports from the navy, the army and the Defence Estates on the alleged allotment of flats in the Adarsh housing society in Mumbai meant for Kargil war heroes to politicians, bureaucrats and military officials.

The residential structure in Mumbai’s upscale Colaba neighbourhood was originally meant to be a six-storey building housing Kargil war heroes and widows. But it was surreptitiously converted into a 31-storey building and has over 100 members, including former service chiefs, and senior serving army officials.

The defence ministry has taken a strong note of the involvement of serving and retired officers in the matter that is “tantamount to impropriety”, a source in the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the Indian Army is still finalising its process of launching a court of inquiry to look into the role of its officers - serving and retired - in the multi-crore housing scam.

A source in the army headquarters said the General Officer Commanding in charge of the Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa area would convene the inquiry to look into the role played by various army officers in the conspiracy.

However, action against retired guilty officers cannot be taken as per the Army Act because a soldier can be summoned to face proceedings only until the end of three months from his or her retirement.

So, the authorities would have to rely on a civilian probe and prosecution into the scam for any action against retired officers who are found guilty.

The issue has triggered a political crisis in Maharashtra with Antony and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee probing the role of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan as some of his relatives own flats in the society.

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