Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will order an independent probe into the Adarsh society scam regarding the role of senior armed forces officers who allowed the building to be constructed adjoining vital military installations overlooking their security in Mumbai.
The inquiry is being ordered after the Bombay High Court directed the central government to probe the role of former senior officers who commanded the Pune-based Southern Command, the Colaba-based Navy's Western Command and the army in the Mumbai area, as they were dealing directly with the permissions given to Adarsh Society to construct its building.
"To ensure a fair probe into the matter, the defence minister has directed the services against setting up any inquiry of their own and is going to institute an independent probe into the role of former officers," highly placed sources in defence ministry said.
The inquiry is being ordered after the High Court asked the government to probe the role of retired army and navy officers.
The Adarsh Scam had led to the resignation of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, but none of the senior officers, who owned flats in the cooperative society, ever got punished. The flats were meant for the families of martyrs of Kargil War.
The matter had blown up during the tenure of General V.K. Singh when he was the Chief of Army Staff. He had allegedly used the services of the super secretive Technical Support Division to dig out the role of senior military officers who owned flats in the society. The officers were apparently gifted the flats for their help in getting clearances for the building.
The High Court has also directed the government to take possession of the Adarsh society till any further decision is taken on the matter.
Earlier, the High Court had ordered demolition of the building and sought initiation of criminal proceedings against politicians and bureaucrats for misuse of powers. However, the Supreme Court later stayed the decision to demolish the building.
Many senior officers including former army chiefs General N.C. Vij and General Deepak Kapoor own flats in Adarsh society along with former navy chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh.