Former Navy Chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh has surrendered the flat he was allotted in the controversial high-rise Adarsh Housing Cooperative Society in Mumbai's Colaba area. A day before, Admiral Singh along with two former Army Chiefs, General N.C. Vij and General Deepak Kapoor, had offered to return the flats considering the unsavoury controversy surrounding it.

“In view of the special circumstances that have now emerged, I have last night unilaterally surrendered the flat allotted to me in the Adarsh Housing Cooperative Society,” Admiral Singh wrote on Saturday to Union Defence Minister A. K. Antony in a cryptic letter. A copy of the letter has been sent to Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma, the current Navy Chief.

The Admiral said here on Saturday that he had written to the housing society last night surrendering his flat and also resigning from its membership.

What has happened to the offer by the two former Army Chiefs of returning the flats?

“Ask them,” replied the Admiral.

“Yesterday I told them that I will do this (to announce before the media the offer to return the flats) on behalf of them. Now I am not talking anything about others. You can ask them,” he told the media persons.

The previous day Admiral Singh, who retired as Navy Chief in July 2004, had said that at no time were they aware that the flats were meant for the war widows of Kargil martyrs. After a lifetime of service to the nation and looking after the welfare of the troops they could not have knowingly bargained for such a situation, he had asserted.

After announcing the surrender of the flat, the Admiral reiterated his observations more vehemently. “At no stage were we ever told that these flats belonged to war widows. In that case I would have withdrawn then and there. We are not fools or ruthless men to take anybody else's place,” said the veteran of many battles sounding rather hurt over the whole episode.