A Defence Ministry inquiry committee indicted two former Army chiefs, among other senior retired military officials, in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai, PTI reported on Sunday. General NC Vij and General Deepak Kapoor have been named in the report for their alleged complicity in the scam.
Besides General Vij and General Kapoor, three retired Lt Generals – Tejinder Singh, GS Sihota, and Shantanu Choudhary – have been named. Major Generals AR Kumar, VS Yadava, RK Hooda and TK Kaul have also been indicted in the report.
General Vij had acted as a “protective umbrella to facilitate the alienation of the land”, the inquiry committee found. Meanwhile, General Kapoor was not “directly connected with the case”, but was not “well advised” in accepting a membership of the society, PTI reported. He had not “adequately weighed” the implications of accepting a flat in Adarsh Society, it added.
The report has advised that the government take “appropriate measures” against them. They should not be allowed to hold any public office, it added. Other military officials named in the report were found to have “turned a blind eye” to the irregularities, PTI reported. They should also not be engaged in any employment or services by the government, the report added.
The inquiry was conducted by former IAS officer Rajan Katoch and Lt Gen (retd) Ravi Thodge. The panel was formed by former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in April last year on direction of the Bombay High Court.
The Adarsh Housing scam
The 31-storey residential tower in upscale Colaba was meant for army veterans and war widows, but the plush apartments were given to several top politicians, bureaucrats and their families. A judicial committee set up to investigate the scam found that at least 25 of the houses went to ineligible people and 22 were sold under proxy names.
In April last year, the Bombay High Court had ordered the demolition of the complex, however, it was stayed by the Supreme Court later.
When the scandal broke in 2010, Congress leader and then Chief Minister Ashok Chavan was forced to resign, as it came to light that three of his relatives were allotted homes in the building. In February, Maharashtra Governor Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao allowed the CBI to prosecute Chavan in the case.