Army in firing-line over yet another land scam

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Indian Army
New Delhi, Jan 13: The Army is facing embarrassment of the tallest order when another land scam has surfaced from the barracks. This time around, the property in question is a prime one-acre plot in Malad.

The property was leased from the Maharashtra government to be used as Central Ordnance Depot (COD) for the Army way back in 1942. The property was later sold off to a private party, Neo-Pharma Pvt Ltd which is part of the Kalpataru Builders group for a sum of Rs 6 crore on June 26, 2007. This particular land deal was carried out without appropriate consent from the army authorities.

The fact that the deal was done illegally led to the COD physically taking care of the property. The army later vacated the plot submitting to pressure from certain army officers.

The Ministry of Defence is considering a probe, possibly by the CBI. The case was brought to light when Trinamool Congress MP Ambica Banerjee forwarded a letter to the Prime Minister and Defence Minister accusing the Army chief General Deepak Kapoor and others of indirectly benefiting from the land deal.

The land in question presently houses buildings of Neo-Pharma and a residential complex constructed by Kalpataru Builders. Other names that have been placed under the scanner are the then Minister of state for defence, Rao Inderjit Singh and Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa area chief Maj Gen RK Hooda as well as many others.

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