Defence estates officer Gita Kashyap’s flip-flops on the ownership of Adarsh land continued before the Adarsh inquiry commission on Thursday. After first stating that the land belonged to the state government, then claiming it belonged to the Army, on Thursday, she stated once again that the Adarsh plot was in fact the state government’s.
Kashyap, who was grilled by state government counsel Anil Sakhare, made various admissions to support her stand that the plot belonged to the state.
Kashyap had said on Wednesday that having no title on the plot did not rule out the Army’s ownership or right to it. With the help of a map of the military area certified by Survey of India, Kashyap said the plot was in the Army’s possession from the colonial days.
But, when Sakhare questioned Kashyap on the basis of internal correspondence between military officers and correspondence with the state government dating from 1964 to 2004, she admitted till 2000, the defence stand was that the ‘plot’ formed a part of Block VI of the Colaba division, which belonged to the state government and fell outside the defence boundary.
She also admitted that her superior officer, principal director, Defence Estates, in 2004 had acknowledged that the Adarsh plot fell in Block VI and Block VI that was the state government’s.
Kashyap admitted this after Sakhare showed her the letter dated March 4, 2004 from principal director DE to DG DE. It stated, “In so far as the title of the land in Block VI is concerned, ministry of defence letter dated 31-12-1958 acknowledges it as state government land.”
Sakhare also showed that in 2003, Colonel TK Sinha in a letter to the DEO (Mumbai) had asked for records to show the land belonged to the military. But, the DEO did not forward any record regarding the same.