MUMBAI: A high-level inquiry committee set up by former defence minister Manohar Parrikar has named two former Army chiefs along with several top-ranking military officers in the Adarsh housing scam, where previously, four ex-Maharashtra chief ministers, two former ministers and 12 bureaucrats were indicted.
The committee, set up following the directives of Bombay High Court, in its 199-page report named former army chiefs general N C Vij and general Deepak Kapoor apart from three lieutenant generals, four major generals and several other military and defence estate officers.
Since the Army Act prevents disciplinary action against the officers who retired three years ago, the committee recommended debarring the Army officers from any further employment or contract with the government or any of its bodies.
The report named general Vij for providing “protective umbrella” for facilitating the “alienation of the land in question”. “At no stage did he raise any questions on the matter, nor did he flag any security concerns during the annual security review as the Army commander or otherwise,” the report is learnt to have said.
The report added it was known that he had a “vested interest” in the matter, sources said.
The 31-storeyed building of the Adarsh Housing Society, constructed on a prime location in the posh Colaba locality of Mumbai was originally meant for welfare of war widows and defence ministry personnel.
However, politicians bureaucrats and military officials conspired to bend rules concerning ownership of land, zoning, floor space index and membership to get themselves allotted the flats in the building at well below the market rates.
About general Kapoor, the report said though he was not directly linked to the case, he had not been “well advised” in accepting the society’s membership.
Former navy chief admiral Madhavendra Singh, who was allotted a flat in the housing society, has also been named in the report.
The report said though he was not involved in the scam, he was ineligible to become a member of the housing society as he gave a misleading undertaking stating that he did not own any house in Mumbai.
Names of the three Lieutinent Generals G S Silhota, Tejinder Singh and Shantanu Choudhary and the four Major Generals A R Kumar, V S Yadav, T K Kaul and R K Hooda had also appeared in internal army inquiry of 2011, while six of the officers mentioned in the recent report - Major Generals Kumar and Kaul, Brigediers T K Sinha and MM Wanchu, Col R K Bakshi and former Defence Estate officer R C Thakur were chargesheeted by the CBI in 2012.