The Indian Army’s southern command chief has sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the one-acre plot in Kandivli that was sold to Neo Pharma Pvt Ltd, an arm of Kalpataru builders for around Rs 6 crore.
Lieutenant general Pradeep Khanna, general officer commanding-in-chief, southern command, addressing the media after an investiture ceremony to award valiant soldiers, at Colaba on Saturday, said his recommendation to the ministry of defence (MoD) sought a CBI probe.
Lt Gen Khanna said the state government had sold the land without obtaining clearance from the Indian Army. “We found this out sometime back after a detailed inquiry. My recommendation to the ministry has been that the case be handed over to the CBI,” said Lt Gen Khanna.
The role played in the sale of the plot by major general RK Hooda, the former general
officer commanding (Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa) is also under the scanner.
As per the report, the one-acre plot was a Central Ordnance Depot since 1942. In 2007, the state government without taking consent or no-objection certificate from the southern command of the Indian Army sold the land to Neo-Pharma Private Limited.
At present, four multi-storied residential buildings stand on the plot. Lt Gen Khanna said, “There is no reason why the land at Malad should have been sold to a developer until the army had cleared it. The said plot was an ordnance depot that was given on lease to the army.”
The Defence Minister would now take a call on what action needs to be taken, added the senior army officer.
Lt Gen Khanna also said that in the Adarsh scam, CBI has accepted the Army's map of 1844 which denotes Colaba as a military island.