Admitting the involvement of some serving and retired officers in the Adarsh housing society scam, army chief General V K Singh today said the Indian Army has taken "a beating" due to the scandal.
"I am extremely sad and as an institution we have taken a beating," Gen Singh told journalist Karan Thapar in the Devil's Advocate programme on CNN-IBN.
He said the percentage of accused officers was "miniscule... but it will have a great amount of psychological impact" on the force.
The general was speaking for the first time on the controversial residential structure in Mumbai's upscale Colaba neighbourhood that was originally meant to be a six-storey building housing Kargil war heroes and widows.
But it was surreptitiously converted into a plush 31-storey building and has over 100 members, including former service chiefs, and senior serving army officials.
The army chief said when "people look at it the next time and somebody asks for martyrs (for the nation) they will think the person is asking for martyrs for personal gains".
He said the army will convene its own inquiry into the matter and assured that nobody would be spared if found guilty.
"So far as the army inquiry is concerned, I will see where the things went wrong... and who were responsible for that. The army is one body where we don't make deviations for anybody," he said, adding that the probe report would be made public.
"We don't hide. We will tell people. This will redeem us," he said
The defence ministry has taken a strong note of the involvement of serving and retired officers in the matter that is "tantamount to impropriety", a source in the ministry said.
Sources in the army headquarters had revealed that the General Officer Commanding in charge of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa area would convene the inquiry to look into the role played by various army officers in the conspiracy.
However, action against retired guilty officers cannot be taken as per the Army Act because a soldier can be summoned to face proceedings only until the end of three months from his or her retirement.
So, the authorities would have to rely on a civilian probe and prosecution into the scam for any action against retired officers who are found guilty.