DEO has no records over ownership of Adarsh plot, panel told

"The Defence Estate Office (DEO) which maintains all defence land records has no entry of Adarsh land in the Military Land Register. There is no record or files to show that army owns the land where Adarsh stands," defence estate officer Geeta Kashyap, the second witness to depose before the commission probing the scam, said.

However, Major General S S Jog, then administrative staff officer to the General Officer in Command (GOC) of the state army headquarters, admitted in an affidavit filed today to have written a letter to Mumbai Collector stating that the land where Adarsh building stands does not belong to the army.

"Army had on March 29, 2000 received a letter from the collector intimating about request made by the Adarsh Housing Society to the government of Maharashtra seeking allotment of land. The DEO on March 30 told the army headquarters that the land in question where the proposed society wants to come up belongs to the state government and fell beyond defence boundary," the affidavit stated.

On April 5, 2000 the army headquarters issued a reply to the collector stating that since the land falls beyond defence boundary, necessary action may be taken to allot the same for a housing society for ex-servicemen and army officials, it further said.

"The letter of April 2000 to the collector was signed by me after approval and directions from my GOC A R Kumar," Jog said in the affidavit. Kumar owns a flat in the society and is one of the accused in the scam.

In a related development, the probe panel extended till May 26 the time given to union ministers Sushil Kumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh and former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan to file their affidavits.

The trio were issued summons by the commission early this month to appear before it as witnesses. The commission had given them an option of filing their reply by today.

The trio had during their tenures as chief ministers of Maharashtra had dealt with files pertaining to Adarsh Society. Chavan has been named as an accused by CBI in its FIR.

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