Sukna, Adarsh scams put armed forces in "bad" light: Antony

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) Noting that land scams such asSukna and Adarsh Society have projected armed forces in a"bad" light, Defence Minister A K Antony today said policieswould be framed to bar local military authorities fromdirectly issuing ''no objection certificates'' to privaterealtors.

Addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary ConsultativeCommittee, he said the scams have exposed the "gaps" in thedefence land management system and their records will becomputerised.

"The Defence Ministry will shortly be framing policiescovering the issue of NOCs... No NOC would be issued,especially to private builders directly by the Local MilitaryAuthorities (LMAs)," he said.

The recent Sukna, Kandivali and Adarsh land scamsrelated to issuing of NOCs by local military commanders toprivate realtors and have led the ministry to change itspolicies for granting permission for construction on defenceland or in areas adjacent to military stations.

The Defence Minister, who maintained that the landscams have projected the armed forces in "bad" light, said apolicy is also being framed for cases where the local lawsrequire consultation with local military authorities forconstruction of buildings on lands adjacent to defenceinstallations.

Antony said the Works of Defence Act, which providesfor restrictions on building activity around defenceinstallations, would be amended to make it relevant to presentday situations.

"The Act has not been amended for the last over 100years. The government is also looking at the de-hiring policyto avert any misuse," he said.

The minister said after the scams, the ministry isgiving top priority to computerisation of the records of the17 lakh acres of land under it as "without computerisation, itwill be difficult to manage our vast land records."

He said a number of decisions have been taken by theministry regarding land management and proper storage ofimportant title-related records.

Elaborating on the difficulties in defence landmanagement, Antony said under the Constitution of India, landis a state subject and if for a particular piece of land theownership records tally both in ministry records and staterecords, there is no problem.

"But in some instances, this is not so. Moreover,vested interests lose no time in exploiting gaps in thesystem," he said. .

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