Defence Ministry will not cover up Adarsh scam: Antony

New Delhi, Nov 11 (ANI): Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday said his ministry will not cover up the 'Adarsh Housing Society' scam, but initiate strict action against all those found guilty or allegedly involved in it.

"I can tell you only one thing, whenever we find anything wrong, we will not cover it up. We will take strict action," said Antony, while addressing the media persons here today on the sidelines of an IDSA event.

The Defence Minister further said a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe has been ordered in the case on the recommendations of Army Chief General V K Singh.

"When we got a complaint from some members of Parliament about these allegations, we immediately referred them to the Army Chief," said Antony.

"Ultimately, we came to the conclusion that it is better to accept the recommendations of the Army Chief and we referred it to CBI for inquiry. So lets wait for CBI inquiry. Before that, I do not want to come to any conclusion (on the scam)," he added.

Antony had earlier on Tuesday recommended a CBI probe to fix responsibility of the armed forces and defence estates officers in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai.

He also asked the CBI to look into the circumstances under which a No Objection Certificate was issued to the Adarsh Housing Society to construct the 31-storey building on a piece of land, which was in the "de facto" possession of the Army.

The probe agency will also investigate into the commitments made for allotment of flats in the 104-apartment society for Kargil widows and martyrs" families.

The scam came to light after Western Naval Commander Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin shot off a letter to the Army headquarters and the Defence Ministry seeking action against the building for posing a security threat to military installations.

The 6490-square meters land was within the security perimeter of the naval base in the upscale Colaba region of south Mumbai, Admiral Bhasin had noted in his letter.

However, it also came to light that former Army Chiefs General Deepak Kapoor and General N C Vij, apart from former Navy Chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh too had flats allotted in their name in the housing society that had promised to provision apartments for families of Kargil martyrs.

Soon after the scam hit headlines, the Defence Ministry asked the Army, Navy and the Defence Estates to submit a report on the issue.

The preliminary findings of the ministry's probe brought out "criminal conspiracy" at the local level in Army and Defence Estates to alienate the land, which was in Army's possession till 1999-2000, in favour of the Housing Society. Also, over 40 officers from the armed forces and Defence Estates too had got flats allotted in the society. (ANI)

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