Two former Army Chiefs, 8 top officers indicted by MoD inquiry into Adarsh scam

Gen. N.C. Vij provided “protection umbrella”, Gen. Deepak Kapoor “ill advised” to take flat, govt should use Adarsh for military housing, probe report says.

In a severe indictment, a defence ministry inquiry report has held 10 of the most senior officers of the military – including two Army Chiefs who were serving at that time – guilty for playing a central role in the Adarsh housing society scam, recommending that they be debarred from holding any government position or office for shaming the armed forces.

A strongly worded, detailed report by an inquiry committee set up by the defence ministry following an order from the Bombay High Court in April 2016, places a bulk of the blame on former Army Chief NC Vij, saying he “provided a protective umbrella to facilitate the alienation of the land”. Vij was also the Southern Army Commander in 2000-2001.

The inquiry – conducted by retired IAS officer Rajan Katoch and Lt. Gen. Ravi Thodge – also names former Army Chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor, saying that while he was “not directly connected with the case”, the officer was “not well advised” in becoming members of the society.

Eight other retired officers – including Lt. Gen. G.S. Sihota, Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh and Maj. Gen. T.K. Kaul – have been severely indicted by the inquiry committee.  The inquiry has held them guilty for glossing over the potential threat to national security that the building posed, given that it overlooks the Colaba Military Station.

The report commends Brig. M.K.V. Panicker, then Bombay Sub-Area Commander and Saurav Ray, the Defence Estates Officer, Mumbai, as the only two within the system who constantly upheld that wrongdoing was on and registered their protest.

The committee has noted that while the officers can no longer be acted against under the Army Act that limits legal cases until three years of retirement, it has suggested that the government convey its displeasure to them for their “conduct and role in facilitating the wrongdoings”.

“Government can also consider in addition the option of taking action for debarring some or all of these officers from any future employment or contract with the Central Government or any of its bodies, or participating in any Committees,” the report says.

The recommendation of the committee for further action on the building itself is for the government to approach the Supreme Court for a takeover so that it can be utilised for housing for defence personnel.

Unusually strong words have been used to describe the impact of the officers “colluding” to create the Adarsh Society, saying that they have a greater role to play than the bureaucracy or political class.

“Attention in the Adarsh scam so far has centred on the wrongdoings and irregularities by the politicians and bureaucrats concerned with the approval process who exploited their position to become beneficiaries of ACHS, ostensibly promoted for the welfare of Kargil heroes and war widows. As we have found, perhaps as great a role was played by the military and Defence Estates Officers involved,” it says.

Calling out several discrepancies that took place, the 199 page report says that the officers indicted were “charged with the duty and responsibility to protect the interest of the services and defend national security”.

“In the identification of the subject land and facilitation of its allotment to the ACHS, there appears to have been definite collusion between senior military officers and Defence Estates Officers,” it says.

 

57 COMMENTS

  1. These officers are a blot on the armed forces and should be deferred from being members of any armed forces clubs and institutions.

  2. Criminal cases of breach of national security and trust should be registered against wrong doings by those responsible for safeguarding .Their pension should be stopped and all post retirement previlges be withdrawn. They should be declared as persons non grata by tri services.

  3. hahahahaha……let it be people, you dont want to demean ex defence forces officials over these trivial issues when there are bigger things happening in the country, as such the country doesnt give a **** about us “soldiers” this would be the last nail, do not and i repeat do not test our patience…..these very people have protected your sorry asses and sadly that is the reason today you are in a position to say things against them, if you dont have the audacity to support your saviours atleast have ***** to support them because if you dont we are not giving up our lives for you people let that be clear, enough is enough…. this country has made a joke out of its defence forces, do not force us to screw your happiness which we are very capable of let that be clear to all of you (IAS, IPS and other babus), koi shak???

    • The truth is IAS (former British ICS) and Indian Army (former Royal Indian Army) are colonial institutions in their current form and offer too much power to the officer cadre. They need to be “normalized” or this country will remain a corrupt kleptocracy.

    • What do you mean “support your saviors” ? Nobody in a mature democracy considers their armed forces as “saviors”. They are volunteer professionals and should behave professionally, not be corrupt in peacetime. Is it too much to ask from service chiefs? It is not an isolated case – see navy war room, augusta etc.

  4. I do not undermine the findings of a commettee such senior officers. However , am strongly of the view that senior officers are mislead to such ventures by the ones directly dealing with the subject. How will a Army Cdr know exact status of small piece of land unless projected as such by the station Cdr and the estate officer. Findings are hard on the chiefs but for others I agree.

  5. It is a shame ful act of seniors Army officers and they should be suitably punished for bringing a bad name to the most professional force. While such people in bureaucracy do exist in plenty also be brought to book.Such incidents happen daily with corrupt political set up in our country also should be suitably punished .Judiciary is on sale should also be dealt with.

  6. Could this have been possible without the involvement of the IAS and Politicians? Why have names of only Army Officers figured in this?

    • That’s corruption by politicians and IAS in this case or other cases a reality of India ,Indian army was finest institution surviving it was least expected from them. Only because of sheer Corruption and moral turpitude of highest echelons of Indian army collusion of these Army high ups IAS and politician that Adarsh scam took place which was nothing but moral turpitude of highest order by these army officer and corruption always is a grave violation of good military order envisaged under army act all those armymen serving or retired involved should be proceeded against in accordance with law and awarded punishment in accordance with army act and rules after conducting court of inquiry into whole of this criminal breach to jeopardize whole of the Colaba cantonment nor can all ten corrupt officer’s escape the criminal liability for Adarsh scam and need to be punished and cashiered and meted out examplary punishment for these criminal acts

    • Pradeep, that’s because the Inquiry Committee was headed by an USA Officer; and the Army rep, a Maj Gen, just said “Yes Sir” like he did all his career.
      I agree with you – all the bureaucrats, IAS and IPS, should have been named and shamed as should have been the politicians who got apartments in Adarsh for themselves or their kit and kin.
      Recommendations similar to those for our Senior officers should have been made for the bureaucrats and politicians too. The Army Rep should have refused to sign if this was not done; or at least put a note of dissent.

  7. Ravi Thodge reportedly was Adviser to MOD and found favour with Mr Parricker. The report does appear biased

  8. Sad state for ARMYfriend vij has already held posts after retirementsome of them for known for corruption and fixing honest officers inACRs INDIA does not have intelligence agencys the job is being done byNewspapers only

  9. Let’s not start justifying own corrupt people with pretext of involvement of others. It was your land , no IAS forced you.

  10. If hedge eats the grass who else can protect it.The involvement of Def Estate officers – SDO and below level are totally involved in preparing the ground and paper work with the help of Sr Def offrs.They convinced them that all will be fine and made them shut up by giving them great unbelievable offer in place like Colaba, Mumbai,prop worth many crores.Even politicians & Babus are deeply involved but they will get away as any inquiry will try to keep them free.

  11. Convenient to make a Scape goat of an ex army chief who transformed the army in many ways ! General NC Vij was responsible for a major driver in cutting insurgency ! Was he the prime minister who gave a protective umbrella ! Absurd and motivated ! I dismiss this s with the contempt it deserves ! General Vij had retired when he applied for an apartment and was ill advised it was Deepak Kapoor and a host of politicians and civil servants who were culpable ! Grossly misrepresented hugely motivated and unfair ! Throw the report in a garbage bin it’s not relevant look ahead ! Atul Marwaha

  12. Why only senior officers of Army.. what about other culprits.. most of the politicians and beurocrats… including Chief Minister of the state… what only defence personnel are to follow rules.. why not others… every citizen to be questioned… Unfortunately beurocrats always target service officers..

  13. The report is TOTALLY INCONCLUSIVE..The STRICTEST OF ACTIONS AGAINST THE Sr DEFENCE offr be taken .. BUT …plz have the sensitivity to implicate the COLLUDING BEUROCRATS/ CIV OFFICIALS who had an EQUALLY great role to play …
    FAIR PLAY IS NEEDED FOR A TRUE PICTURE …
    JAI HIND

  14. Some people are still trying to defend the ” enemy within ” . These senior guys are the ones responsible for acting against the welfare of their men they command by being instrumental in reducing the allowances and other benefits like NFU etc. They should be punished now!

  15. While I have no doubts in my mind that the indicted Armed Forces personnel were responsible, I know of some other senior officers from the other services too who were party to the planned loot as they too were flat allottees in Adams. What happens to them? And what about the master minds of the loot the Politicians & the Beauraucrats? They always go Scott free?

    Where is the print & digital media now? All Those responsible for the scam should be publically shamed & put in jail

    • I think the most appropriate punishment for ALL of them, Armed Forces officers, bureaucrats and politicians, would be to take the flats away from them WITHOUT ANY COMPENSATION. They will lose whatever they paid for the apartments and that should serve them right.
      Thereafter, the apartments should be used for housing of Armed Forces personnel as per routine authorisation.

  16. None of these officers have been called for an inquiry, isn’t that the first prerequisite for an inquiry . Judicial commission set up by Government of Maharashtra has clearly said land belongs to state Government & it was never reserved for Kargil heroes or war widows

  17. The report is very much biased against army.What about the role played by politicians and beauracrats and officers from other services.Govt should takeover the building and demolsh without delay as it poses security threat also apart from constucted by illegal means.Can govt do that?

  18. A matter of shame for Armed Forces. First time in the history of independent India Armed Forces’ officers of the highest ranks are being indicted for rampant corruption otherwise there was an invariable trend to hush up all cases of corruption by internal court of inquiry in the name of security and morale of forces. The big bug of corruption has made a permanent place in Armed Forces, and it is a welcome move by the Govt.

  19. It is a practice to hide errant and corrupt Armed Forces’ officers by taking a shelter of Army Act under which no action can be taken after 3 years of retirement. There is a similar rule for serving officials too. All such cases are firstly not taken cognizance of, then followed by prelim inquiry and then staff court of inquiry with the basic aim to delay the final outcome to fall beyond this period of 3 years. The reason is that corruption has become a part and parcel of their life and all are involved in saving each other. There is a need to amend Army Act to exclude cases of corruption.

  20. Dishonest Greedy people.
    Politicians, IAS &,Allied services are involved .All must be punished &sent to jail. They have shame the Forces & Nation.

  21. 1. At last some feedback but there are more questions unanswered like :-
    (a) Who all are responsible to cofuse the status of land, whether defence or civil land ?
    (b) If civil land, how did army personnel get involved in its utilisation?
    (c) If defence land, how did the private colony come up on it?
    (d) Is construction allowed in this zone so close to sea?
    (e) Was the project notified to the public and by whom? please check the list of allotees and tell us their appointments.
    2. Considering the details asked above, decide who should have ordered this inquiry and what were the terms of reference?
    3. let us admit that our country has lost its character. Every act seems to be to cover up various scandals but there is no attempt to introduce even a semblance of accountability.
    4. I must now ask the country to give full details of 3 Queens Garden Pune case. I think we will hang our heads in shame. Add to this – Why Old Grant properties worth millions of rupees each and spread over whole of India, for which nobody has paid a single penny as cost of land, are not being resumed by the govt? It will be an eye opener.

  22. I recommend what ever benefit these officers and their relatives have enjoyed by this society in any form be withdrawn from them, in a to set an examples otherwise another Lalu is in making.

  23. Armed forces were always considered the utmost professional, dedicated and untainted institution. Although majority would still fall in that chequered category, there are some rotten apples today here too. No doubt they should be exposed and brought to justice but what would be of interest to see is that the investigating agencies show the same grit and acumen ship in acting against the tainted politicians and bureaucrats as these are the two classes who are epitome of corruption in our country. Few officials here or there will not make much difference unless and until this menace is dealt with at every level, specially by bringing the corrupt politicians to book.

  24. It is shameful act by senior offrs. Corruption is in their blood as they grow in service n get chance. Max will find in defence. ED raid is required for such gently n debarred from all institutions.

  25. The role of IAS Officers including politicians responsible has altogether been ignored. Justice demands that all such people be exposed. All those innocent persons who have suffered due to police and judicial probe be also compensated . Col Y K Bahl.

  26. Action against all found misused there power & position. How come war Windows flat goes to civilians and non Windows claimant of army. Punishment to be shot by firing squard. So that no one dare to do such things in the future. This action to be taken in the earliest opportunity.

  27. I A KUNDAN,an ias officer was heavily involved in this adarsh bread biting case.

    Another famous name is ias devyani khobragade with two flats…

    https://www.google.co.in/amp/www.news18.com/amp/news/india/devyani-khobragade-a-doctor-turned-diplomat-656665.html

    Now ,everyone wants to defame army officers.i w would convey only one point look within yourself first….their r many roaming as innocent caught thieves who stashed their amount in the name of becoming director of companies whom they promoted wid projects during theor tenure….a enquiry is reqd for the same for all board of directors for the basis for which any retired ias has been declared director of the company board.

  28. Enquries reveal those blamed neither informed about enquiry nor asked to depose before it. An Kangroo enquiry..to defame army at behest of beaurocrats …carried out by some Thogde who has been re employed in MOD as a retd Lt Gen…trying to please his new masters.

    • What a shame.
      RM Sir, Why let them go.
      We have high expectations from you and Modi जी.
      If Lallu & clan can be made specimen, then why not these दस नवरतनs

  29. That there is a plot of land in Colaba Cantt which could be used for construction of flats….. where did this thought first originate?
    It could’nt have originated from an Army Commander who would’nt even be knowing about this land or the possibility of having a Society on it.
    Surely this suggestion must have come from either a politician or a beaurocrat to which the Army Commander agreed and the ball started rolling. Who is that guy, his name should have been on top of the list of offenders. And he can be named only by Gen Vij. Why was’nt Gen Vij called during the enquiry?

  30. Well done Manu Pubby. Good to see you on the Print. Good story. Gily must always be brought to law no matter how high and mighty they may be. Best of luck to The Print . Well begun is half done.

  31. What a shame. Thoughtless defamation of armed forces personal being done at a time when our forces are egaged with Chinese in Sikkam. Seems motivated leaks being done by anti nationals to demoralise army. Modi ji must have these leaks from senstive defence ministry investigated .

  32. Enquaries reveal … no diposition taken of those blamed by enquiry committe ..shameless hush hush affair.. kangroo enquiry done by retired enquiry team now employed by MOD to please their masters …of no legal value

  33. Exemplary punishment should b given to both services & civilians burocrats.It should b ensured that they don’t hoodwink law or it will be bad for morale

  34. Severe charges must be framed against all those who were involved in this anti national act. Those who purchased the flats in this building must be literate and well knowing this game. So they must also be brought to the book for knowingly purchasing flats in this building. They must also be booked as co accuse.

  35. Land does not belong to Army, already established by judicial inquiry. What inquiry is it or is it a report by some Thogde retd army man re employed by mod. One sided affair ; means a sham of investigation. Why babus and politicians not named and shamed.

  36. Inquiry without calling affected officers is no inquiry. It is hatchet job . And how did the report come out from MOD that needs another investigation. Tomorrow they will leak any secret document

  37. Leak of report by a so called paid news channel (called so by New Yorker) from MOD which is supposed to hold all secrets of an inquiry where none named have been called. Now we know where is the conspiracy

  38. Is there a report??? Govt has not confirmed it. Why is media not confirming that govt has released it?? Leaks insuations to damage moral of army..to create divide between leaders & the led. Deep conspiracy. Investigation of leak or fabricated report must. Defence Ministry too senstive to have holes & moles

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