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Adarsh Scam: PAC Slams Def Min, Maharashtra Govt

A Parliamentary panel today rapped the Defence Ministry and the Maharashtra government on the Adarsh Housing Society scam, saying there was "monumental failure" at all levels of governance with certain officials abusing their position.

In its report tabled in Lok Sabha, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Adarsh scam said a group of select officials holding key posts subverted rules and regulations as also facts and took the ruse of welfare of servicemen, war widows and children.

"The Committee's scrutiny corroborated the irregularities in the entire process right from the allocation of land to the society, obtaining 'no objection certificate' (NoC) from the Army, extension of various concessions by the Government of Maharashtra, getting NoC from BEST for transfer of developmental rights of adjoining land, obtaining clearances for residential development in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) by certain officials who abused their official position for personnel gain," the report says.

It says when the Defence Ministry was asked how NoC was given to the society, it was informed that it was issued by the defence authorities "because of mismanagement of Defence land, poor record keeping and lack of mutation of land already in possession of the Armed Forces."

Regarding security concerns, the PAC has found that these were ignored while constructing the 31-storey building in Colaba area.

While asking the government to ensure that such incidents are not repeated, the PAC refrained from making "further comments as the matter is still subjudice with respect to the title of the land and other concerned issues." 

Unhappy with the Defence Ministry, in particular the Army and Navy, the PAC slammed the "cavalier manner" in which a serious issue of security was overlooked to the detriment of security installation.

"The apprehension expressed was that in times of enhanced tension and hostilities, it enabled the residents (of the building) to observe the number and type of specialised and general performance vehicles that are parked in Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (EME) workshop from which their availability and serviceability could be analysed," the report says.

The report also criticises the "tardy" pace of CBI investigation. "The Committee deplore the tardy pace of investigation. Considering the fact that glaring irregularities were committed by men in governance, the Committee exhort the CBI to expedite its investigation," it says.

The report is also critical of the attitude of "dilly-dallying and non-cooperation with the CAG with the view to blocking Parliamentary scrutiny. The Committee need to be explained such an attitude of non-cooperation and measures taken to prevent such recurrence."

It is critical of the Defence Ministry for not having a proper mechanism to secure ownership of its properties which it got from government agencies in lieu of other lands.

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