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Defence ministry seeks navy report

The defence ministry has asked the navy to submit a report on the alleged farmhouse scam in which military officials may have colluded with a developer to acquire 300 acres of controversy-ridden land for a housing project on the outskirts of Delhi in the late 1990s. Rahul Singh reports.

delhi Updated: Nov 07, 2010 00:18 IST
Rahul Singh

The defence ministry has asked the navy to submit a report on the alleged farmhouse scam in which military officials may have colluded with a developer to acquire 300 acres of controversy-ridden land for a housing project on the outskirts of Delhi in the late 1990s.

The role of former navy chief Admiral Sushil Kumar, who oversaw the project, is being examined in a probe ordered by the ministry, as reported by HT on Friday.

Kumar owns a 30-acre farm right next to the contentious stretch, built for him by the same man who developed the project, Daryao Singh, a retired navy captain.

Those who invested in the project straddling Noida and Faridabad, steered by the Air Force Naval Housing Board, allege the property is in a flood-prone zone, has questionable ownership and is embroiled in a string of litigations.

"The air force conducted an inquiry four years back but its findings were not revealed. Do they have something to hide," asked Air Marshal (retd) Kuldeep Rai, president of the farmowner's association.

One allottee has appealed under the RTI Act to access the inquiry report and military authorities have been given a December deadline.

Estimates peg the land value at upwards of Rs 300 crore but allottees say the price is lower due to its controversial status.

"Forget Rs 1 crore per acre, I am willing to sell my farm for half that price. But there are no buyers…," said one of the allottees who paid Rs 6.8 lakh each for the one-acre farms in 1996.

"Either senior officers acted idiotically or colluded with the developer to acquire the land dubiously," said another.

Kumar has denied peddling influence through his office.