The Indian Army has been entangled in another land case, after the Adarsh and Sukna scams, with the CBI on Monday booking two retired officers — including former southern command chief and vice-chief of army staff Lt Gen (retired) Nobel Thamburaj — and a local builder.The agency accused Thamburaj, a 1960 batch officer who retired from service in September 2009, and retired defence estate officer, Pune Circle, Sevak Nayyar of abusing their positions to transfer a prime 0.96-acre army plot worth Rs 46 crore at Pune cantonment to Kalpataru Builders in 2008.
The CBI action came a day after the army headquarters complained that Thamburaj and Nayyar had attempted an out-of-court settlement with the builder despite a favourable judgment from the high court.
The plot had a bungalow built on it. “There was a dispute going on regarding the property and Thamburaj and Nayyar settled the matter in spite of several court orders given in favour of the army. The duo indulged in gross misconduct,” the CBI said.
The agency said the two officials ignored rules and policies, violated the terms of lease entered into by the defence ministry and Kalpataru and helped the builder gain Rs 46 crore.
On Tuesday, the CBI carried out searches at Thamburaj and Nayyar’s houses and the offices of Kalpataru Properties and recovered “some incriminating documents”, which are now being scrutinised.
“Investigations are on to find out what the two got in return for the undue favour shown to Kalpataru,” CBI joint director (western region) Rishiraj Singh said.