Facing criticism over allotment of an apartment in the controversial Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai, former Army chief General Deepak Kapoor on Thursday sought a meeting with defence minister A K Antony to explain his position.
Defence ministry officials said in New Delhi on Thursday that Kapoor wrote to Antony seeking an appointment so that he could clear the air over the criticism that he and fellow services chiefs had got flats for themselves in the upscale Colaba housing society, though a part of it was meant for Kargil widows and martyr's families.
Antony, ministry officials said, had agreed to Kapoor's request and his office was working out the date and time of their meeting.
However, efforts to reach Kapoor over phone at his residence for comments proved futile.
Kapoor, sources said, is expected to welcome a probe into the Housing Society scam, which resurfaced recently after Western Naval Commander Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin flagged security concerns over the 31-storey highrise coming up within the security perimeter of the naval base in Mumbai.
He is also likely inform the Minister that he had immediately surrendered the allotment of an apartment in his name, along with another former Army Chief Gen N C Vij and former Navy Chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh, soon after learning that there was a provision for Kargil martyrs in the housing society.
The 100-metre tall building had reportedly come up on a 6490-sqmt plot of land that was originally in Army's possession since early 1940s. The army troops in Mumbai were using it for their training purposes till 1999-2000, when the land was reportedly transferred to the housing society for construction of the apartment building.
The Defence Minister had sought reports on the controversy from the Army, Navy and Defence Estates, who have already submitted their findings and recommendations. The Ministry's findings suggests that there "prima facie" was a "criminal conspiracy" in the Adarsh Housing Society in which some Army officers in Mumbai had issued a No Objection Certificate to the building coming up on the land.
Accordingly, the ministry is collating all the relevant information from the three reports and is contemplating "punitive action" against its retired and serving personnel and the housing society. The options being considered included probes by CBI and by Income Tax on the money trail for the housing project.
It will also ask the Army and Navy to initiate a court of inquiry into the serving personnel's role in the episode to find out who transferred the land to the society, how they did it and when it was carried out.