Defence Minister A.K. Antony has directed the Army and the Navy to ascertain facts about the ownership rights of the land of the Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai and whether, at any time, the plot was a defence land.

Concerned about the developments in the wake of an alleged scam, the Minister asked the two Services to inform whether the high-rise structure that has come on the land in Colaba area casts a shadow on national security, sources in the Ministry said.

On Monday, Mr. Antony said the Ministry was seized of the issue and examining the report seriously. The sources, said the decision was taken after a meeting on the issue.

Replies from the Army and the Navy, would form the basis on the kind of action the Ministry could take, the sources said adding that if necessary investigations could be outsourced.

The Minister is keen that the two Services expedite the replies considering that the winter session of Parliament is scheduled to start on November 9. The government anticipates that the issue would figure in the coming session. At the same time, the Ministry is conscious that an earlier response in 2003 did not reflect the correct picture and this time it wants to make sure that the replies from the Army and the Navy get a closer examination.

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