Ownership of Adarsh land unclear: Def estate officer to panel

"Although there is no record of the Adarsh land in the Military Land Records, there is an affidavit filed by under secretary of Government of India before the Bombay High Court stating that the right to own and occupy Adarsh land was created in favour of Defence Ministry by the state government. This statement was made on the basis of a December 1958 letter written by the union government to Maharashtra government," defence estate officer, Geeta Kashyap told the panel.

A two-member enquiry commission, set up to probe into the Adarsh scam, is recording the evidence of Kashyap.

Kashyap yesterday told the commission that the Ministry of Defence had not taken any action against a notification issued by the state government changing the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport(BEST)reservation of a road adjacent to the high rise society as the Adarsh land is not owned by them.

Kashyap had in April 2010 also issued a letter to the Army Headquarters (Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat) stating that after verification of land records and documents it is learnt that the Adarsh land belongs to Maharashtra government.

However, she told the judicial panel that the land where Adarsh stands is in dispute. "I am not aware as to when possession of the land was obtained by the state government from the Army. The handing over of possession of land is not entered in the defence estate records as it is a disputed land," Kashyap said.

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