The anti-corruption branch (ACB) of the CBI on Monday registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) case in connection with the irregularities in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society.
This is the first official case registered by the CBI in the scam. So far, it had been collecting documents discreetly.
The registration of a PE means the CBI is getting ready to fix responsibility for irregularities in the transfer of land, construction of the building and allotment and purchase of flats. It will subsequently register a first information report (FIR).
A CBI officer, requesting anonymity, said the PE case has been registered against unknown officers of the Indian Army, defence estate and the state government.
The society has been accused of violating environmental norms and of getting land on the promise that houses would be built for war widows and veterans. Most flats were allotted to politicians, bureaucrats, and Army and Navy commanders.
The development comes after a two-member CBI team from Mumbai met CBI's special director Balwinder Singh in New Delhi on Friday. The team was headed by CBI's superintendent of police (ACB) Abhin Modak, the main investigating officer in the case.
After going through the papers collected by the officers, Singh gave the go-ahead to register a case. "He told the team he is convinced about the documents collected ... and the development in the probe," the officer said.
The PE case gives the CBI the power to call for documents. An officer said if anybody refuses to share documents, the CBI can initiate legal action against that person or body.
Though the agency has got some documents from the Mumbai collector's office, the army and Adarsh society, it still requires many more. "We are yet to get the income-tax returns of those who were allotted flats," the officer said.