Land scams force Defence Ministry to change its NOC policy

New Delhi, Jan 13 (PTI) In the wake of various landscams hitting the armed forces, the Defence Ministry hasdecided to change its policies related to granting ''NoObjection Certificates'' (NOCs).

"After Adarsh (society scam), we have taken a decisionto computerise entire land records with the Defence Estates sothat nobody can play with them. We are also going to changethe policy of granting NOCs," Defence Minister A K Antony toldreporters but did not specify what alterations could be made.

He said that ten years ago, the management of defenceland was not as desired and there were several cases ofencroachments but with the new changes, the situation wouldimprove in future.

The Minister was responding when asked about theaction taken by the government in the cases of land scams likethose involving Adarsh society in Mumbai, Sukna in West Bengaland the latest Kandivali again in Mumbai.

These scams have been related to granting of NOCs toprivate builders, allowing them to construct structures onmilitary land or plots adjacent to sensitive bases.

A number of senior serving and retired officersincluding three former Services chiefs are facing allegationsin these scams.

Asked about the Adarsh case, the Minister said, "CBIis already carrying out investigations. We are expecting themto soon file a report in this regard."

Commenting on the latest scam in Kandivili allegedlyinvolving former Minister Rao Inderjit Singh and former ArmyChief Gen Deepak Kapoor, Antony said, We have already receivedthe report and we are examining it."

He said that in large organisations like the Defenceforces, complaints would be there.

"What matters is whether action is taken against themor not. We are taking action whenever we receive any complaintand we look into them," the Defence Minister said.

He asserted that "there will be no cover up and thereis no question of showing generosity to the accused but therewill be no vendetta."

On the issue related to the secret file, which wentmissing and was later recovered by a roadside, Antony said,the Ministry was waiting for the IAF report in this regard.

After the secret file was recovered from the roadsidein a locality here, the Defence Ministry and the IAF hadordered two separate probes to look into the matter.

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