With several armed forces officers being investigated in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma has said all wrongdoers in the episode will be brought to justice and the government was taking requisite steps in this regard. "Insofar as the Adarsh Society scam is concerned, the requisite steps are being taken by the government and I am sure that any wrongdoer will be brought to justice," Verma said in an interview to the Defence Ministry's official fortnightly 'Sanik Samachar'.
He said the armed forces have always demanded the highest standards of integrity and conduct from their personnel. "Any incident, which smudges an officer's integrity, invariably has an impact on the morale of the men.
As such, I have always demanded the highest standards of honesty and integrity from all men under my command," Verma said in his first comments on the Adarsh scam. After the alleged involvement of both serving and retired officers from the Army and the Defence Estates department in awarding a no-objection certificate to the private society to build the 31-storey complex on defence land came out, the Defence Ministry had entrusted the investigation on their role to the CBI this month.
The 103-apartment society in upscale Colaba had also allotted flats to retired Army Chiefs General Deepak Kapoor and General N C Vij, apart from retired Navy Chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh, former Union minister Suresh Prabhu and relatives of former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan.
On Chinese Navy's forays into the Indian Ocean region, Verma said it was directed at safeguarding its national interests, as China's substantial trade such as oil, natural resources and markets for finished goods come from here.
He said Peoples Liberation Army (Navy) had sent its warships to Gulf of Aden on a call from the United Nations to combat piracy. "The 21st Century is characterised by common maritime threats. Since oceans do not represent national boundaries, such threats need to be countered with a concerted effort from all seafaring nations...Let me assure you, Navy...is adept at meeting any challenge that we may encounter in the present and the future," he added. On the challenges the Navy faced today, he said there was a need to strengthen synergy among various stakeholders in ensuring maritime security.
"Expeditious implementation of a national-level network enabling maritime domain awareness is a high-priority area," he said. The interview is part of the coming issue of the official organ for the fortnight beginning December 1 to mark the Navy Day falling on December 4.