The Defence Ministry is awaiting a report from the Navy on Mumbai's Adarsh Housing Society, even as the Army is planning to order a court of inquiry into land ownership, membership and allotments. Defence Minister A.K. Antony had asked the Army and the Directorate of Estates, besides the Navy, to probe the issue. In reports sent to the Ministry, it was established that the Army had had “de-facto' control of the land at Colaba and evidence of a “criminal conspiracy'' was detected.
The role of some officers who were with the Army and the Defence Estates has come under scrutiny. These officers, sources in the Ministry said, would have to explain how and when the land, which was in “de-facto” possession of the Army, went to the housing society.
The Army is in the process of setting up a court of inquiry, to track and record the role played by its officers — serving and retired — that allowed the society to construct the multi-storey structure.
The Army was using the land for training purposes since the early 1940s. In 1996, it opened an ecological park on the land and the Military Engineering Service built a boundary wall. Troops in Mumbai were holding their training sessions on the land till 1999, said the Army's report submitted to the Ministry. While the building issue was raised earlier, the controversy re-surfaced after Western Naval Commander Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin expressed concerns at security.