Ex-army chief did not see Adarsh a security threat

Jul 20, 2012, 09:17 IST | IANS

Deposing before a two-member judicial commission investigating the Adarsh Housing Society scam, former army chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor Thursday said he did not consider that the society's building posed a security threat.

Contradicting the stand of the defence ministry that considered Adarsh society's highrise building to be a security threat to other defence installations located near it, Kapoor said the threat did not occur to him.

"It did not occur to me that the building would pose a security threat, because there are a number of buildings of similar height in the area," Kapoor said.

Kapoor retired as the chief of army staff in March 2010. He applied for membership of the society in 2005 and was later allotted a flat in the society. He, however, surrendered his flat in October 2010 after the scam surfaced.

The defence ministry, in a pending petition in the Bombay High Court, has sought demolition of the 31-storey building in upscale Colaba in south Mumbai, saying it poses a threat.

Kapoor's statement came in response to a question posed by the two-member judicial commission, comprising former Justice J.A. Patil and former state chief secretary P. Subrahmanyam.

"There are a large number of tall structures both in the vicinity of Adarsh building and Colaba military station," Kapoor told the commission.

"It was for the authority, which has the power to give clearances for construction, to decide whether any threat was being posed by Adarsh," he added.

The Adarsh scam involves a prime plot on which the 31-storey building was constructed by the society.

On July 4 the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a 10,000-page charge sheet in the case before a special court here, 18 months after the investigative agency registered a case.

Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan has also been named as one of the accused in the charge sheet, along with 12 other accused, including former army officials and bureaucrats.

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