Sunday, March 20, 2011

Adarsh Scam: Defence ministry says land title not in its name

Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN | Mar 19, 2011, 12.04am IST
MUMBAI: In a new twist to the row over the ownership of a prime plot of land allotted to the scam-rocked Adarsh society, the defence ministry has submitted that it does not reflect in the military register. The ministry also said the title of the land was not recorded in its name.

The startling submission was made by defence ministry under-secretary K B Nayyar in response to a writ petition filed by the Adarsh cooperative housing society against the state government, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the ministry.

"Although the plot does not reflect in the military land register, the ministry is considering adopting appropriate proceedings to assert its title over the land once the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe is complete. At this stage, I therefore do not deal with the society's assertions of title although none of them are admitted by me," Nayyar said in a 22-page affidavit before the Bombay high court on January 24, 2011.

Nayyar said merely because the plot was not reflected in the military land register, it did not mean that the ministry of defence was not its owner and that the entry in favour of the society in the property card cannot confer the title on the petitioners.

Nayyar said the right to own, possess and occupy land in the reclaimed block VI of Colaba was created in favour of the defence ministry by the state government. However, the state government did not formally record the title of any land to the ministry of defence in lieu of defence land from the Santa Cruz rifle range, nor did it pay the armed forces anything for the defence land at Santa Cruz.

Nayyar submitted that the army was in "occupation and possession" of the Adarsh land, until possession of the plot was obtained by the state government and allotted to the society.

"It appears that officers of the defence estate issued letters falsely stating the plot was the state government's. The ministry has asked the CBI to probe the matter, and it is expected that the questions, like why the letters were issued, why the army officers did not object to the plot being allotted to the society and how the state government/society obtained possession, will be probed by the CBI," Nayyar submitted.

The case filed by the CBI appears to be based on the contention of the defence ministry that the land belongs to it.

The Mumbai collector has already submitted that the land belongs to the state government, but it was in the defence ministry's possession. Notwithstanding the contention of the Mumbai collector and defence ministry, the state government set up a commission under the Commission of Inquiry Act to probe if the land allotted to Adarsh society belonged to the state government, any other person or organization.
Defence ministry says land title not in its name

Comment: Savvy (Mumbai)
15 hrs ago (02:47 PM)
The plot was always under Army occupation and completely within the security area of Colaba. If it was state land, why no action was taken by the State Govt when the Kukri park was inaugurated the then GOC Maj Gen Cariappa in 1996. There are many many cases where the state govt revenue department do not bother to carry out mutation of land title even after decades. However, one important point which has so far not recieved the deserved attention is the business angle. The main game and main objective of the core group of Adarsh, that is RC Thakur, Gidwani, Brig Wanchu, Commander Pilo, Maj Gen Kaul etc will have additional benami flats for the purpose of selling and make very huge profits. Maj Gen Kaul is known to have 3 flats- straightaway 30 crores and now Gidwani is also exposed. One is doubtful also how much money these people have paid officially as they have been the main people processing the case and giving protection. THERE IS NO FREE SERVICE. But yes finally they are exposed. Although the money involved in the scam may not be as huge as 2G or other scams, but this is an unique scam in the sense that in post independent India- there is not a single case where 2 army chiefs, one vice chief, one GOC in C, many Generals and Brigadiers, one naval chief, vice Admirals, 3 Chief Ministers, sundry politicians, a dozen senior IAS officers and others bureucrats were involved. Fortunately nobody from the media and judiciary.

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