Adarsh scam: CAG report indicts two ex-Army chiefs

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by SHASH2K2, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Top generals, babus & netas in Mumbai land-grab

    The Mumbai-headquartered Western Naval Command (WNC) has raised serious security concerns and sought action by the navy, army and government against a highrise apartment complex in Mumbai's Colaba area, in which senior military leaders, politicians and bureaucrats own apartments. Among those allotted houses in the 31-storeyed Adarsh Housing Society are two former army chiefs, several other generals and admirals, and political leaders and senior bureaucrats.

    A recent letter to the navy chief from Vice-Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, WNC, and other documents with TOI reveal a conspiracy to appropriate, in the name of war widows and military veterans, a prime plot that was in the army's custody for years. In the process, the army even lied to the ministry of defence (MoD), which then misled Parliament, when a starred question regarding the ownership of the land came up in 2003.

    Almost every army officer involved in misleading Parliament now owns a house in the complex. In his letter, Admiral Bhasin says that the housing society is now refusing to part with the list of its members and the Maharashtra government too does not have the details.

    The building, immediately adjacent to a planned helipad and other military installations, has violated the CRZ ( coastal regulation zone) limit of a maximum height of 30 metres, and has now gone up to 100 metres, says Bhasin inhis letter dated July 5 of this year. The Western Naval Command chief has suggested that the army be asked to institute a formal inquiry to find out duplicity, if any, by serving/retired officers in reappropriation of the ecological park managed and occupied by HQ MG&G (headquarters, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa) Area since 1996. He also wants the MoD to take up the issue with the Maharashtra government and ensure that further construction is stopped and occupancy permission is not given.

    The controversy fundamentally hinges around whether the plot of land belonged to the army or not and in this matter, several senior army officials were more than cooperative in declaring that it did not. Crucial documents that prove the army's possession of the land and the Maharashtra government's past commitment to give the plot to the army have gone missing from the records of the concerned army offices in Mumbai and Pune. TOI now has many of those documents. When we sent a detailed questionnaire based on these undisclosed facts to the army headquarters a few weeks ago, the only reply was, "We are looking into all aspects brought out by you."

    The story began a few months after the Kargil conflict of 1999 when the army vacated the controversial land in Colaba, handing it over to Adarsh Housing Society. Almost every army officer who was in the chain of command when this transfer and subsequent developments happened, including two former army chiefs, now have apartments in the highrise. Senior bureaucrats in the state who played important roles in the decision-making process hold apartments through their relatives, as do politicians from the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena. Almost everyone who could have objected to the project appear to have been silenced with apartments in the highrise, which consequently rose from the original plan of six floors to the present 31 floors.

    Documents show that the land on which Adarsh Society stands today (Block VI in Colaba) was to be the army's in exchange for a plot it gave up in Mumbai's Santa Cruz rifle range in the mid-1950s for the construction of the Western Express Highway. In a letter dated December 31, 1958, joint secretary in the MoD, S D Nargolwala, wrote to the secretary of the public works department of Bombay, referring to a discussion between the chief minister and defence minister where they agreed on the land swap. The army was to be given land in Block VI, an area adjacent to the site where defence installations are already situated. The letter also says that in case the transfer did not take place, the state government would financially compensate the army.

    In 1973, the state government gave BEST, the city's electricity and transport utility, 5.14 acres of land from Block VI along Capt Prakash Pethe Marg for a bus depot. It undertook reclamation in the 1980s and left 200 feet outside its compound wall for the proposed road. Immediately after, encroachments came up on the open strip of land. Even though the transfer was yet to be done in the army's favour, it carried out afforestation on the land to prevent encroachments, according to documents. A park was, in fact, inaugurated on October 27, 1996 by the then GOC of MG&G Area, Major General B A Kariappa.

    In 2000, when the state government issued the modified development plan for 1981-2001, it reduced the width of Capt Prakash Pethe Marg from the proposed 200 feet to 60 feet. Together with the land that was already there, the entire area was earmarked for a parade ground, helipad, garden, BEST depot and residential zone. Adarsh Society has now come up in this residential zone.

    On March 29, 2000, the collector of Mumbai city wrote to the GOC of the Maharashtra and Gujarat Area. In an evident attempt to make out that the land belonged to the state government, not the army, he said that he had received a request for the allotment of "government land for residents of the staff members of defence service personnel" (sic) and that during the site inspection on March 27 "it is revealed that the military department has constructed the wall to the above plot and hence the government land (was) protected from encroachment". "You are, therefore requested to confirm that there is no objection to allot the land to the proposed society of the service personnel", the letter added.

    The army officers seemed to have moved with alacrity to respond positively to the collector's letter. Just a day later, on March 30, headquarters MG&G Area sought a report from the defence estate officer (DEO), Mumbai, to confirm the status of the land. On the same day, the DEO replied saying, "It is verified from our records that land in question" falls "outside of the defence boundary".

    On April 5, 2000, Colonel S S Jog of the area headquarters wrote to the collector saying that "necessary action at your end may be taken as deemed fit for the welfare of service personnel/ex-servicemen/their widows". A day later on April 6, Colonel Jog made a minute sheet for records. The note said the draft reply was "prepared and finalised" after "having been vetted by Dy GO/GOC in chair" and that "it was ascertained" that Adarsh Society wanted to develop "the above land for kith and kin of servicemen/ex-servicemen/ their widows". Col Jog's worry about the entire action is palpable in his handwritten note, which says, "It is reiterated that NO, repeat NO, NOC was given to the collector's office." For any activity within 1,000 metres of a defence installation, militarys no-objection certificate is a must under the law.

    The collector, on his part, continued to imply that the land was not legally owned by the army in his allotment letter issued to Adarsh Society in 2000 which says that the land was "in the custody of the defence department". This letter is among the many documents that are mysteriously missing from the military stations in Mumbai, according to TOI investigations. The letter also lays down several parameters for members including the fact they should have "lived continuously" in Maharashtra for at least 15 years, which almost all the senior officers who own flats do not fulfill.

    In December 2003, when a starred question on the issue was asked in Parliament, the MoD misled Parliament based on notings that originated from Mumbai's army station. Col R K Bakshi, SO (land) for the general officer commanding the area, wrote to the Pune-based southern command that the "subject land has never been/is not under the occupation of the army". This falsification of fact was repeated by Brigadier Parvinder Singh on behalf of the southern command to the headquarters in Delhi. He wrote to the army headquarters repeating it, which MoD later told Parliament.

    General Vij was the army chief when Parliament was misled, and owns a house in the Adarsh apartment complex. Vij is now the vice-chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, holding a minister of state rank. Lt Gen Shantanu Chaudhary, the then vice-chief of army staff, also owns an apartment in the complex. So does Colonel Amarjit Singh, who was then Chaudharys staff officer.

    As concerns mounted about the entire episode and its illegality began to emerge, at least the department of defence estates changed its earlier stand and opposed the project. Veena Maitra, then director general of defence estates, wrote on March 8, 2004, to the southern army command and other authorities, pointing out that the land "has been always under the occupation of the Army, is located inside military area and is bounded by a boundary wall and a gate made by MES (Military Engineering Service)". Despite those facts, "the local army authorities had given an NOC as senior uniformed officers had become members of the residential society intended to be set up on this land", Maitra said.

    After the army headquarters asked the southern army command for a response to Maitra's letter, the latter on May 25, 2004, placed several facts, many of them wrong, to argue that the land never belonged to the army. "To prevent encroachment from slum dwellers and to ensure hygienic environment in this area, being in proximity of officers mess, some trees had been planted by the local military authority in the mid-nineties." The letter goes on to say that Adarsh Society "has membership from various sections of society, including serving and retired defence services persons as well as civilians from all walks of life." And it adds, "Lt Gen G S Sihota, PVSM, AVSM, VrC, VM, ADC had applied for membership of this society."

    One of the most damning pieces of evidence of the manipulation is recorded in a set of letters written by Saurav Ray, defence estate officer, Mumbai, on July 14, 16 and 25 of 2003, to headquarters MG&G Area. He points out that Adarsh Society "is not exclusively a defence entity. It has approximately 33 civilians among 62 members and it has the potential of being a business enterprise of vested interests in the garb of welfare". And adding a new twist to the story is western naval command chief Vice-Admiral Bhasin's July 5 letter to navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma, saying the Adarsh society was "deliberately" refusing to part with the list of apartment owners.

    Some Of The Flat Owners

    1. Former army chief General Deepak Kapoor
    2. Former army chief N C Vij
    3. Former southern army commander Lt Gen Gurbaksh Singh Sihota
    4. Former army vice-chief Lt Gen Shantanu Chaudhary
    5. Major General Tej Kishore Kaul
    6. Major General Virender Singh Yadav
    7. Major general Pithambar Kishore Rampal
    8. Major General R K Hooda, MG&G Area chief until a few days ago
    9. Former chief of the Mumbai-based western naval command vice-admiral Madanjit Singh
    10. Retired vice-admiral Raman Prem Suthan
    11. Former Union minister Suresh Prabhu
    12. Former Maharashtra speaker Babasaheb Kuppekar
    13. NCP leader Shriniwas Patil
    14. Congress leader Kanhaiyalal Gidwani
    15. Former Mumbai municipal commissioner Jairaj Pathak's son Kanishk

    Read more: Top generals, babus & netas in land-grab - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...nd-grab/articleshow/6805880.cms#ixzz13LVIDIYs
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    i wonder there is no BJP RSS shiv sena politician involved.Its the conspiracy of hindu Taliban extremists to malign secular forces.
     
  4. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Govt to order probe in highrise scam

    NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The defence ministry on Monday was set to announce a probe into a fraud by senior armed forces officers who cornered an apartment complex in Mumbai's upscale Cuffe Parade ostensibly built for war widows and military veterans.

    Reacting to TOI's expose of the land grab scandal, involving former chiefs of the Army and Navy, senior officers as well as politicians, defence minister A K Antony told reporters, "Government is seized of the matter and we are examining it seriously."

    The process for formal action was already underway. Sources in both the Army and Navy said they were planning legal action. "We have asked Southern Command to examine the issue," an Army officer said.

    A Navy source said they were re-examining a letter from Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command, recommending action by Army, Navy and the government.

    Among those who own apartments in the Adarsh Housing Society Complex are former Army chiefs Generals N C Vij and Deepak Kapoor and political leaders like Shiv Sena's Suresh Prabhu. A modest two-bedroom apartment in the area is priced between Rs 5 crore and Rs 6 crore.

    The Navy was re-examining a letter from Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command, recommending action. The vice admiral's letter, written in July, had been ignored so far by the brass. But with the government taking the TOI disclosure seriously, it could become the basis for a probe.

    The prospect of an inquiry brightened after a public nudge from the Congress party to Maharashtra government to punish the guilty. The party termed the episode as "unfortunate" and expressed the hope that the Maharashtra government would act on the report. "If the place was for war widows and has gone to some other people then Maharashtra government should look into it and take appropriate action," said party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed.

    Milind Deora, the South Mumbai MP who represents the area in which the complex is located, weighed in with a similar pitch.

    Significantly, the Navy which had resisted the construction of the complex closer to its strategic installations confirmed that Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority cleared the complex for occupation despite its objections.

    As TOI reported on Monday, Adarsh Housing Society in Colaba was constructed on a plot that the Army was pressured to release on the plea that it would be the site for a complex meant for welfare of war widows and service personnel. The professed objective was discarded as soon as the protagonists got hold of the land. The entire exercise involved falsification of many documents, while other inconvenient ones were simply destroyed.

    All those who were crucial to the transfer of land were rewarded for their "help" with apartments in the complex located on prime piece of Mumbai's expensive real estate.

    Reacting to the TOI report, Deora said it was "really outrageous that under the disguise of providing housing to war widows and Army veterans, prime land located in South Mumbai was misappropriated to construct a highrise complex benefiting a chain of manipulators."

    Read more: Govt to order probe in highrise scam - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...se-scam/articleshow/6811819.cms#ixzz13PDhmvtv
     
  5. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Man sets up land grab from army

    A retired junior defence estates officer, once charged with corruption, coordinated the takeover of a south Mumbai army park that is now a 31-storey super-luxury building — cleared on the condition that it would be a six-storey structure housing war veterans and widows — in one of Asia’s costliest
    swathes of real estate.
    India’s defence ministry is now struggling with a request from the commander of its Western naval command to investigate the repeated subversion of various laws that eventually allowed RS Thakur to become general secretary of the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society within the bounds of the Colaba Military Station in Cuffe Parade, where flats sell for Rs 50,000 to Rs 80,000 per sq ft.

    The flats, including the land, cost the society and its members Rs 26 crore. The market value is anywhere between Rs 500 to Rs 800 crore.

    "There is very big money, and very powerful people involved,” said a highly-placed source in the defence ministry, refusing to be quoted, given the sensitivity of the case. “Frankly, it is going to be very difficult to probe the complaint (made earlier this year by the admiral heading the Western Naval Command in Mumbai), but we are perusing it.”

    Once a lush 6,490 sq m of about 100 trees called the Kukri Eco Park (named after an Indian submarine sunk during the 1971 war), the owners' list in Adarsh now includes a former naval chief, two former army chiefs — among a host of other senior officers — top Maharashtra bureaucrats, members of parliament and Thakur, who retired this year from the defence estates department.

    Investigations by the Hindustan Times — which has a list of beneficiaries; fake, past and present — reveal a pattern: A collective manipulation of laws that led Thakur’s Adarsh deal to be cleared in stages since 2003 by Congress chief ministers, Sushilkumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh (both now union ministers), the then army commander, Maharashtra and Goa Sub Area, Maj Gen T N Kaul, and a host of Maharashtra government bureaucrats, including former Panchayati Raj additional secretary and former Mumbai municipal commission, Jairaj Phatak.

    "I don’t remember the case,” said Deshmukh, union minister for heavy industry. Shinde could not be reached. Defence Minister AK Antony said the government was “examining the matter seriously”.

    Contacted in Nagpur, Thakur said “those who failed to get flats” were now complaining, including, he implied, Vice Admiral Sanjiv Bhasin, chief of the Western Naval Command, who has requested the Naval chief for a probe.

    "Khatte angoor kaun khaya (Who’s eaten sour grapes)?” asked Thakur. “He [Admiral Bhasin] should know why he has complained. We told so many people, sorry, you cannot be accommodated.”

    In 2003, Thakur was being probed by the central bureau of investigation for the illegal transfer of defence land in Nagpur.

    "Do you expect me to respond to that statement?” said Admiral Bhasin. He said he had been writing to “all authorities concerned for the past six-seven months” to get the clearances revoked. “No one is aware of who the members are. We wrote to the registrar of properties,” said Bhasin, who regards the towering building as a threat to security and naval air operations. “The registrar told us to approach the society. The society did not respond for a month and said the list was being finalised by the government of Maharashtra.”

    Bhasin said he then requested the chief secretary to withhold an occupation certificate until the names are made public. “We want to do a scrutiny of all officers, and if they are civilians, we will ask the police department to verify their antecedents. The MMRDA [Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority] may have been pressured to issue the certificate last week because of the influential people involved.” Bhasin has again asked for a revocation of the occupancy certificate. Chief Minister Ashok Chavan did not even acknowledge his government’s involvement: “Before ordering any probe, we will have to first look into the ownership issue of the plot, whether it is a state government-owned plot or no (sic).”

    Since 2004, there has been a spate of additions and deletions to the list of Adarsh society members, often coinciding with their stints in power. As for the junior officers, they have all been dropped.

    Among the “Kargil Heroes” named on the original list of 71 members of the Adarsh Society — there are now nearly 100 flats — are Subedar Ramnarain Achelal Thakur and Major Rajiv Kumar Hitnarain Singh. They never owned flats in Adarsh. Army sources told Hindustan Times that they had no record of these soldiers.

    They were replaced with senior defence officers, an influential set of politicians, two MPs, an MLC (member of the legislative council) and bureaucrats. That included an IAS officer married to the then Mumbai district collector, who deleted 34 names from the first list questioning their “eligibility”.

    Clearances came thick and fast, said the defence ministry source. One of those whose son got a flat was Jairaj Phatak, managing director, Rural Electrification Corporation.

    "My son became a member of the society in 2003-04, when I was the secretary of school education and had no say in land allotment or town planning permissions,” said Phatak. “He met all the eligibility criteria. No sane person would have refused the membership.”

    Phatak was the municipal commissioner in 2007, when the society got additional floor space and clearance from the municipal corporation, allowing a 31-storey skyscraper in a coastal regulatory zone.

    Phatak admitted this but clarified that the concerned land development approvals were under the purview of MMRDA and the matter came to the High Rise Committee only because MMRDA does not have in house committee to clear skyscrapers.
     
  6. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Defence min may take over scam-hit Mumbai complex

    NEW DELHI: Stung by the embarrassing scam in which retired military brass connived with Maharashtra bureaucrats and politicians to corner a prized piece of property in Mumbai's tony Colaba — all in the name of Kargil war widows — the defence ministry and the army chiefs have decided to come down like a ton of bricks and are considering invoking the Defence of India Rules (DIR) to take over the property and call in the CBI to probe the scandal.

    These two options have been considered at the highest level in meetings between the defence ministry and the army brass where the Adarsh housing society scam, whose lid was blown off by TOI on Monday, was discussed at length. There are indications that the army brass is veering around to a takeover of the 31-storey complex and put it to military use. The promoters would, however, be reimbursed their cost.

    Sources said the army headquarters has already recommended a CBI inquiry into the scam. The recommendation came in response to a query from defence minister A K Antony. "Since we do not have the legal standing to inquire into the conduct of the state government departments, we believe the CBI must look into how the entire manipulation happened and the guilty must be punished," a source said to explain the army's unusual readiness to be probed by an outside agency.

    The recourse to DIR rules will mark an unprecedented step. Framed by the British to deal with challenges to their Empire, the rules have seldom been used since the Emergency in 1975. It is ironical that the rule is being dusted off to deal with a scam allegedly involving leaders of armed forces, politicians and bureaucrats who connived to misappropriate the land they got the army to release for war widows.

    But DIR is seen as justified given the enormity of the embarrassment and the fact that the armed forces, normally zealous in guarding their turf, are okay with the idea of a CBI probe because, apart from retired military officers, several others are involved in the land grab, including officers of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Brihanmumbai Muncipal Corporation.

    Sources said Antony has made it clear that the scam will not be swept under the carpet. On his instructions, the MoD has sought the army's response to the disclosure by TOI. The army headquarters has quite a task on its hand. The officials dealing with the issue have to reckon with the fact that the beneficiaries of the scam include two of its former chiefs, one former vice chief, one southern army commander and at least four officers who headed the MG & G Area (Maharashtra, Gujarat & Goa) in recent times.

    All of them own apartments in the complex. The grim mood in the headquarters coupled with Antony's resolve indicates that the current leadership may not flinch from taking tough measures to repair the damage to military image.

    The navy has its own share of embarrassment, with a former navy chief, a former chief of the western naval command and another senior admiral featuring among the flat owners in the housing society.

    Read more: Defence min may take over scam-hit Mumbai complex - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...complex/articleshow/6818094.cms#ixzz13VDZsHC1
     
  7. Parthy

    Parthy Air Warrior Senior Member

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    Army chief warns brass against Adarsh-like scams

    NEW DELHI: The multi-crore Adarsh Society scam reverberated at the Army commanders' conference on Thursday, with Army chief Gen V K Singh asking his top brass to guard against such controversies in areas under their jurisdiction and ensure the image of the Army is not further tarred.

    The scam over senior officers and influential persons owning apartments in the controversial Adarsh Housing Society in Colaba saw Gen Singh departing from his scripted interaction and underlining that the Army cannot afford more such debacles that would erode public trust in the institution.

    The Army chief told senior commanders that "they have to ensure no such controversies erupt in their respective areas", sources said. The heads of the army commands and principal staff officers - who are the senior most Lt Generals of the Army - are attending the biannual commanders' conference.

    While Gen Singh read out a warning to senior officers, the Army is understood to have replied to questions raised by the defence ministry about the 31-storey highrise, built in the name of war widows on land that was in the custody of the Army. These apartments were allotted to several senior military officers, including two former army chiefs and a navy chief, several other senior Generals and Admirals, senior bureaucrats and political leaders at a fraction of the market price.

    Sources said the Army had responded that the complex was occupying land that was in its custody, and ownership of which was to be transferred to it, in exchange for land that the Army gave up in another location. The Army reiterated that the complex was a security threat, in its reply to the defence ministry.

    While the ministry said it had sent its query to naval headquarters as well on Wednesday, naval officials informally insisted that they were yet to recieve any communication from the MoD.

    With the Army reply in hand, MoD will now have to decide on the Army's recommendation for probe by the CBI. The agency is already investigating the case based on civilian complaints. If the MoD decides on a CBI probe, then the scope of its investigation would further broaden. The military top brass is also discussing the possibility of invoking the Defence of India Rules, an extraordinary legislation that empowers the Centre to act in the security interest of the country.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...e-scams/articleshow/6830915.cms#ixzz13j0Ldljv
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Corruption, Nepotism, Skulduggery, kowtowing, currying favours, string pulling is but traits of character to which many (I speak of Indians, though it is commonplace in the world and none is beyond it) Indians.

    The Military also comes from such a common gene pool!

    While politicians, bureaucrats, police and others from all walks of life have made it a signature tune and their alter ego and India helplessly looks on since these blokes control the strings of power through administrative, legal or money power, and thus are beyond redemption and law or so it appears, the country does not expect such traits in the Military, which they still hold in esteem.

    There must be investigations and all should be brought to book, more so, the military defaulters!

    I, for one, cannot believe that any military man would have Rs 60 lakhs (said to be the cost of those flat) loose money to invest in flats! Their income should be investigated since it the smell of a fish market and the smell does seem to be wafting in the air!

    This type of muck cannot run amuck and ruin the fair name of the Forces.

    At the same time I will add that the military is the only organisation that does not hesitate to surface these elements and book them through the speediest of law - the Army Act.

    No other organisations cares to pursue or book such elements who shame their organisation and pilfer the nation!
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Whatever I saw on the TV. Goswami showed a letter than indicated that the flats were for those who 'bravely and actively participated in the Kargil Operations'.

    What is important to check is that did these Service head honchoes 'served bravely' or did they 'actively participated' in the Kargil Ops.

    This is quite different from 'being in the Army when the Ops were taking place'!
     
  10. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Sir,

    in totality i agree with your post but for the above part.

    • there are various investment instruments which give some very handsome returns, bse as a whole over the past so many years has given a return of 14% yoy, which is close to 15times a return over a period of 2 decades and that's just the bottom of it. certain individual stocks have done marvelously well, giving near 10times returns in 1year.
    • gold has given such fine returns, back in 2007 it was trading at rs7000 to it is at 20,000. 3 times the return within a span of just 3 years.
    • realty market especially around the metros and bigger cities have over the years given some absolutely handsome returns.
    etc ...........................

    the point i have is, if someone had invested well enough, having 60lacks or way more and then liquidating it would be no big deal even with retaining certain assets of all those investments made and this includes accounting the kind of salaries people would have earned since the 70s till date. add to all this and if i am not mistaken people on retirement got some very good compensation as a part of 6th pay commission (i know for doctors, some pretty good money and tax free. atleast happened in himachal).

    i am not trying to suggest that there was no corruption and quite possible these people made this money through other means that might not be legal but making good money without any corrupt practices is also not that difficult a deal.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I agree.

    Indeed, there are some army friends of mine who have invested well and now drive Skodas and have rather swanky houses.

    However, most have no idea about all this since they are too busy with the day to day stuff. Investments require study and with the pay we got before the last pay commission, it was damn difficult I presume.

    With so many scams surfacing these days and most of us having to defend, and at times hang our heads, one does feel that do we deserve this?

    You should have seen Lt Gen Shankar Pershad on the TV debate yesterday fumbling and hedging to defend the issue and finally went quiet, when he is normally very active and vociferous on these debates.

    That these people have totally illegally got these flats (if the letter Goswami showed on TV is the last of it!), then they are guilty and they have collectively shamed us.

    Hence, they must be investigated.

    The greater danger is that if the rank and file feel that these chaps are the example, then they will be encouraged to follow their route (misusing their position as a starter!) and then we will have a totally disgraceful situation!

    We must be beyond the whiff of deceit and corruption.

    Caesar divorced Pompeia, saying that "my wife ought not even to be under suspicion."

    We must be above suspicion is what I say.

    The Nation expects it of us, even if they have given up on politicians, bureaucrats, police and their like!

    I know of many Generals and officers who are honest to their bones! Today, they will be also looked at with suspicion!

    Our credibility is being lost because of a few black sheep.

    Most of these black sheep are Dumbas, the fattened and large rams used for Bara Id!
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  12. RAM

    RAM The southern Man Senior Member

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    With 7,000 sq km, defence ministry owns land equal to 5 Delhis

    NEW DELHI: Land scams and defence often go together. The defence ministry, after all, owns a staggering 17.3 lakh acres of land around the country. That is little over 7,000 sq km. Or, about the size of five Delhis (new, old and rural) put together. Defence, railways and ports, in fact, are the largest landowners in India. Yes, the defence land includes airbases, firing ranges, dockyards and other crucial military establishments.

    But, from the famous sprawling maidan in front of Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, the huge Delhi Cantonment and the Navy Nagar in tony south Mumbai to hill stations like Dalhousie, Lansdowne and Kasauli, MoD also owns some pretty prime property across the country.

    So, it's no wonder that all this land attracts gleeful unscrupulous elements, both from within and outside, who are eager to grab, misappropriate or encroach some chunks of this precious commodity.

    In fact, a defence minister not so long ago had send shivers down the military ranks by obliquely suggesting the sale of large parts of defence land, with the unstated intention of raking in the moolah.

    While the 17.3 lakh acres of defence land is managed by the three Services and other organisations like Ordnance Factory Board, Defence Research and Development Organisation and others, the 1.13-million strong Army is by far the biggest land-holder.

    The Army has 13.79 lakh acres under its control and management, while the much smaller IAF has 1.51 lakh acres and Navy 0.37 lakh acres. Of the total 17.3 lakh acres, around 2 lakh acres lie within the 62 cantonments in 19 states. There is even a big Directorate General of Defence Estates for "advisory and executive functions" in matters relating to defence lands and civic administration in cantonments.

    Apart from huge land holdings, the armed forces also have veto powers on land sale or construction activities near their stations on grounds of security. Take, for instance, the recent infamous Sukna land scam case, in which four generals were indicted. The case revolved around the alleged conspiracy to aid the transfer of a 71-acre tea estate adjacent to the Sukna military station in Darjeeling district to a real estate developer, who was a family friend of one of the generals.

    Then, there are several instances of defence land being misused. The continuing saga of the swanky Santushti shopping complex, the haunt of the rich and the famous just down the road from the PM's official residence in the Capital, is one of the examples.

    The latest CAG report slams MoD and IAF for blatantly violating all rules and regulations in managing Santushti, with its 43 shops, which was established by the Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) on defence land in 1985 with the ostensible purpose to help needy military personnel and their families.

    But the "irregular allotment" of many shops to fashion designers, businesswomen and other gliterrati has "defeated the welfare objectives of providing assistance to ex-servicemen, war widows, disabled military pensioners and the like", said CAG. Shades of the Adarsh scam?



    Read more: With 7,000 sq km, defence ministry owns land equal to 5 Delhis - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...-Delhis/articleshow/6844419.cms#ixzz13vz49ovs





     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is time to understand what a Cantonment is all about and how much area a unit requires to undertake daily training.

    Further, the land is not administered by the Defence, but by Defence Estate Officer and the Defence Estates Establishment. This is totally a civilian organisation and they are from the Indian Allied Services (Indian Defense Estate Service (IDES)).

    The Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) selects candidates for various central services, including for the most coveted cadres of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS).
    IAS and IPS are All India Services created under article 312 of the constitution. The creation of such services provides safeguards for
    national unity and ensures uniformity of the administrative system throughout the country to maintain the minimum common administrative standards. Candidates selected for these two services are appointed to different state cadres and as and when required they also move to Central Government jobs on deputation. The remaining services are categorised in two Central Services, Group A, and Group B. The Group ‘A’ services are:

    v Indian Railway Traffic Services (IRTS)

    v Indian Railway Accounts Services (IRAS)

    v Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)

    v Indian Railway Protection Force (IRPF)
    v Indian Postal Service
    v Indian Audit & Accounts Service (IA &AS)
    v Indian Defense Accounts Service (IDAS)
    v Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)

    v Indian Revenue Service (IRS)

    v The Indian Information Service (IIS)

    v Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS),

    v Indian Defense Estate Service (IDES),

    v The Indian P &T Accounts & Finance Service

    v Assistant Commandants in Central Industrial Security Force.
     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Cantonments are prime property since it is well administered, well planned out, the FSI is enforced, better hygiene and sanitation and public services etc etc.

    Therefore, it is not surprising that many would eye it for a quick deal and a killing!

    Maharastra is famous for pressuring the Army or totally ignoring the Army to 'tweak' Cantt land. There was a case in Pune of a Club that was promoted for rich businessmen and politicians an which was built and regularised in spite of Army resistance. Sharad Pawar was the Defence Minister then.

    It is also a fact that Army is subordinate to the Govt of India and can do nothing to go against the Govt dictates.

    Notwithstanding, the Adarsh scam should be investigated, not by the CBI, but by a sitting or retired Judge of a non Maharastra High Court or Supreme Court, if the truth is to surface.

    The guilty, notwithstanding rank or position in govt or governance, should be punished in an exemplary manner.

    All scams that surface should be equally addressed and punishment meted.

    This scam gets the highlight since top men of the military are involved and also because it is defence that is involved, it will be a way bit difficult to muzzle them, when cornered!!

    The Kolkata Maidan has been mentioned in the news report above. But for the Army, it would have been sold and ugly sky scrapers would have come up! The Govt has tried its level best to take away the land, but the Bengal Area has put up stiff resistance and so it has been spared.

    Therefore, all in the Army are not corrupt or pliable.

    If Vij and Kapoor are guilty, let law takes it course. The Army Act is valid on all those who retire for 3 years. However, it is applicable in perpetuity for financial irregularities.

    And the Army Act is a draconian law and faster.

    That is why civilians can weasel out of the most watertight cases, but not the Army!
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010
  15. Shilpa.Sharma

    Shilpa.Sharma Tihar Jail Banned

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    Adarsh housing scam: Army likely to begin probe this week

    The army is likely to isssue court of inquiry orders into the Adarsh Housing Society scam this week. All the officers named in previous list of Adarsh society will be probed.

    More...
     
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Even before the Govt thought of a probe, the Army instituted its own Court of Inquiry.

    The critical issue is if the Defence Estate Officer, who is an Allied Services Officer and a civilian, has declared from his record that it is not Defence Land, then how was it in Colaba Cantt? Rather odd. to say the least.

    If it was not Defence Land, then why refer it to GOC, M&G Area?

    Who gave the permission to the builder/ promoter to build the building?

    If the original plan was for 6 storeys, who gave the permission to raise it to 31 Stories?

    Though the building is near the sea, the issue is really more fishy than what stench rotting fish gives!

    Vij's explanation on TV is rather naive and where is Kapoor?

    And this time, the politicians and bureaucrats should be nailed, apart from going hell for leather only for the military men, who are also no babes in the wood if the reports in the media are anything to go by!

    While one should get to the bottom of it, the media must not sensationalise, which they are doing. This building was for 'those who fought bravely and actively participated in the Kargil Operations' as per the letter shown on the TV. I am not aware in which document/ letter the issue of Kargil war widows was mentioned.

    Reminds me of the witches brew in Macbeth:

    Round about the Cauldron go;
    In the poison'd Entrails throw.
    Toad, that under cold stone
    Days and Nights has thirty-one
    Swelter'd Venom sleeping got,
    Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.

    All
    Double, double toile and trouble ;
    Fire burn and Cauldron bubble.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  17. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Former Navy Chief surrenders flat


    Special Correspondent
    JAIPUR: Former Navy Chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh has surrendered the flat he was allotted in the controversial high-rise Adarsh Housing Cooperative Society in Mumbai's Colaba area. A day before, Admiral Singh along with two former Army Chiefs, General N.C. Vij and General Deepak Kapoor, had offered to return the flats considering the unsavoury controversy surrounding it.

    “In view of the special circumstances that have now emerged, I have last night unilaterally surrendered the flat allotted to me in the Adarsh Housing Cooperative Society,” Admiral Singh wrote on Saturday to Union Defence Minister A. K. Antony in a cryptic letter. A copy of the letter has been sent to Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma, the current Navy Chief.

    The Admiral said here on Saturday that he had written to the housing society last night surrendering his flat and also resigning from its membership.

    What has happened to the offer by the two former Army Chiefs of returning the flats?

    “Ask them,” replied the Admiral.

    “Yesterday I told them that I will do this (to announce before the media the offer to return the flats) on behalf of them. Now I am not talking anything about others. You can ask them,” he told the media persons.

    The previous day Admiral Singh, who retired as Navy Chief in July 2004, had said that at no time were they aware that the flats were meant for the war widows of Kargil martyrs. After a lifetime of service to the nation and looking after the welfare of the troops they could not have knowingly bargained for such a situation, he had asserted.

    After announcing the surrender of the flat, the Admiral reiterated his observations more vehemently. “At no stage were we ever told that these flats belonged to war widows. In that case I would have withdrawn then and there. We are not fools or ruthless men to take anybody else's place,” said the veteran of many battles sounding rather hurt over the whole episode.
     
  18. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Adarsh Society: Army setting up court of inquiry


    The Defence Ministry is awaiting a report from the Navy on Mumbai's Adarsh Housing Society, even as the Army is planning to order a court of inquiry into land ownership, membership and allotments. Defence Minister A.K. Antony had asked the Army and the Directorate of Estates, besides the Navy, to probe the issue. In reports sent to the Ministry, it was established that the Army had had “de-facto' control of the land at Colaba and evidence of a “criminal conspiracy'' was detected.

    The role of some officers who were with the Army and the Defence Estates has come under scrutiny. These officers, sources in the Ministry said, would have to explain how and when the land, which was in “de-facto” possession of the Army, went to the housing society.

    The Army is in the process of setting up a court of inquiry, to track and record the role played by its officers — serving and retired — that allowed the society to construct the multi-storey structure.

    The Army was using the land for training purposes since the early 1940s. In 1996, it opened an ecological park on the land and the Military Engineering Service built a boundary wall. Troops in Mumbai were holding their training sessions on the land till 1999, said the Army's report submitted to the Ministry. While the building issue was raised earlier, the controversy re-surfaced after Western Naval Commander Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin expressed concerns at security.
     
  19. Shilpa.Sharma

    Shilpa.Sharma Tihar Jail Banned

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    Navy says it had not issued NOC to Adarsh Society

    The Indian Navy today told the Central Bureau of Investigation, probing the upscale Adarsh co-operative housing society scam in south Mumbai, that it had not issued 'No Objection Certificate' for the construction of the building.



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  20. Shilpa.Sharma

    Shilpa.Sharma Tihar Jail Banned

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    More trouble for ex-Army chief after Adarsh scam

    Former Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor, who has a flat allotted in the controversial Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai, had written to the Haryana Chief Minister seeking concessions on a plot of land given to him in Gurgaon for Rs 36 lakh.



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  21. Shilpa.Sharma

    Shilpa.Sharma Tihar Jail Banned

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    Ex-army chief haunted by scam seeks meeting with Antony

    Facing criticism over allotment of an apartment in the controversial Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai, former Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor today sought a meeting with defence minister A K Antony to explain his position.

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