The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a preliminary enquiry relating to the alleged misconduct by army officials in transferring a plot of land in possession of Central Ordnance Depot to a Mumbai builder, an agency official said in Mumbai on Friday.
"Based on a report received from the additional director general (Discipline and Vigilance), (Army), it was alleged that certain senior army officers while serving in the Southern Command committed gross misconduct in transferring a plot of land which was in the possession of Central Ordnance Depot (COD), Kandivali (northwest Mumbai)," a CBI official said.
"The plot of land was later sold to Neo Pharma (part of Kalpataru Builders). The said company has constructed a 31 storied apartment on the plot which is overlooking the ordnance depot of the army and thereby compromised the security of the depot. Serious complicity of the officials of Mumbai collectorate is also alleged in the report. CBI has taken up the enquiry," he added.
In January last year, Southern Army Commander Lt Gen. Pradeep Khanna had filed a report about the alleged "illegal sale and transfer" of prime land in Mumbai, on rent with the army, to a private builder.
The CBI had last month sought permission from its headquarters in Delhi to register either a preliminary inquiry or an FIR in the case.
According to Khanna's report submitted to defence minister AK Antony, the Maharashtra government sold the land in suburban Kandivli to a private builder, Neo-Pharma, part of the Kalpataru Group.
The report also alleges that the transaction took place after the "intervention" of then defence production minister Rao Inderjit Singh and then Army chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor.
According to Khanna's report, nearly one acre of defence land was sold by the Maharashtra government for a housing project to the said company for nearly Rs 6 crore.