Qualified to comment on security issues: Whistleblower | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Qualified to comment on security issues: Whistleblower

mumbai Updated: Nov 24, 2011 01:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Former defence estates officer Saurav Ray, who blew the lid off the Adarsh cooperative housing society scam, on Wednesday rebuffed questions over his qualification to comment on matters of security.

While raising a red flag over the transfer of land to Adarsh CHS, Ray had, in 2003, termed the building a 'security hazard'.

On Wednesday, Manish Desai, counsel for Adarsh CHS, questioned whether Ray was academically or technically qualified to analyse, advise or comment upon the security issues of the military.

In response, Ray told the Adarsh Inquiry Commission that he held an MA and an M.Phil degree in international relations from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where security issues were part of his curriculum.

"Secondly, national security is a concern for every Indian and I am a defence officer. I think I am technically qualified for that purpose," he replied.

Ray said he raised the red flag over the Adarsh CHS in "government's interest", but neither the Army nor the Navy seemed to be interested in reclaiming the plot.

"There was no request to me either from the Army or the Navy to make a request for acquisition of the land in question," Ray told the Commission.

In his deposition before the Commission so far, Ray has openly accused senior army officials of parcelling off land to the Adarsh CHS.

In June 2003, after the land was handed over to Adarsh CHS, Ray had written to Pradeep Vyas, the erstwhile Collector, seeking the transfer of the land in favour of the Indian Navy and had also requested the collector not to transfer the land to any private housing society.

He alleged that despite his efforts, senior officers in the defence establishment were reluctant to cancel the No-Objection Certificate granted to Adarsh CHS.

Ray held that some of his superiors held flats in the building and were therefore reluctant to jeopardise the project.