Adarsh stands on defence land: Antony

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 21, 2012 13:45 hrs

Defence Minister AK Antony on Saturday said the controversial Adarsh Society building stands on a plot which is the property of the defence ministry and backed a CBI probe into the scam, both of which were challenged by the state government.

Antony backed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Adarsh scam, which has been challenged by the Maharashtra government earlier in Bombay High Court holding that CBI has no jurisdiction to probe it.

"There is our possession on the land and we have conveyed this to the [judicial] commission," said Antony at a function here disputing the Maharashtra government´s claim that the land belonged to them.

Earlier on Thursday, former Army chief General Deepak Kapoor deposed before a judicial commission probing the Adarsh Housing Society scam of Mumbai.

Kapoor reportedly said he did not consider that the Society had a security threat, contradicting the stand of the Defence Ministry.

The Defence Ministry has said Adarsh is a security threat to other defence installations located near it.

Kapoor had given up his membership in the Society after the Adarsh scam came to light.

Retired Lieutenant General GS Sihota had on July 10 deposed before the commission.

Sihota reportedly told the commission that the controversial land does not belong to the MoD.

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing on Adarsh Housing Society scam till August 3.

The court also directed the Adarsh society to file a reply to the application filed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Tuesday.

The Adarsh Society is likely to provide ownership details of the disputed land.

The MoD had stated in its application that the Indian Army possessed the land and the Maharashtra government had illegally occupied it.

The court is hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in connection to the matter and is likely to take a decision on whether the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will be able to probe the case.

The Maharashtra government and the Adarsh society had earlier filed affidavits in the high court and said that the CBI did not have the jurisdiction to investigate the scam.

The Maharashtra government said in the affidavit that it had not made any request to the CBI to probe the matter.

The CBI earlier this month filed a chargesheet in the Adarsh Housing society scam.

The probe agency filed the 10,000-page chargesheet nearly two years after the scandal came to fore.

All 14 accused, including former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, have been named in the chargesheet, said CBI sources.

Chavan had to resign in after he became one of the 14 people accused in the First Information Report (FIR) connected to the scam last year.

The 30-storey apartment, housing many top level defence officials, was built on a disputed army land at Colaba and it is alleged that the flats meant for the families of the Kargil martyrs were allotted to top defence officials and kins of politicians.

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