Thursday, December 3, 2009

Army court’s report on land scam awaited: Gen Kapoor

New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor Wednesday said he was yet to get a report of a court of inquiry which has indicted two senior-ranking generals in a land deal.

“I will get it once it is finalized by the presiding officer. Once the court of inquiry is finalized, it goes to the convenient authority. When the authority approves the court of inquiry then we will think of what is to be done. It will come to me after that,” Kapoor told reporters.

A court of inquiry found that two top generals, Lt. Gen. Awadesh Prakash and Lt. Gen P.K. Rath, “blame worthy” in bending rules to give no-objection certificate (NoC) to sale of state-owned land to a private builder for building a school near Sukna cantonment in Darjeeling, West Bengal.

An NoC is mandatory for sale of land adjacent to military stations due to security reasons.

The defence ministry is also awaiting the army court’s report. According to ministry officials, Defence Minister A.K. Antony himself has sought the report.

“Whenever there is a irregularity in the procedure, a court of inquiry is held. And as soon as the ministry gets to know about the findings, we will also like an explanation,” Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju told reporters outside parliament.

Prakash is currently posted as director general military services at the army headquarters here. The army also cancelled Rath’s appointment as the deputy chief of army staff after his name figured in the controversy.

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