After the winter of 2010, when the media’s intervention put cold water over the stupendous progress that the Adarsh society was making on all fronts, there has hardly been any serious development. The case, caught in legal tangles on several fronts, now threatens to add itself to the millions which remain stuck in our judicial system.
However today something was said, quite emphatically, by a man not known to do so.
Standing atop a freshly-painted deck of the sparkling new stealth frigate of the Indian Navy, Union Defence Minister AK Antony gave out a clear and energetic signal of the direction in which he wants the Adarsh case to rest. When asked to comment on the growing clamour (from the Adarsh society’s lawyers and, to an extent, the state govt) to somehow get the CBI probe scuttled, he responded, “We have already submitted our affidavit to the court, in detail.” Another journalist started with a question on another topic, when Antony cut her short and stated, “CBI has every right to enquire into the whole thing.”
As the interaction proceeded, the question of the tainted society cropped up again. This time, an even better response from Antony. “The defence ministry and the Indian Army are very categorical and very clear that it (land on which the Adarsh building stands) is our possession, our land, (and) a security threat. We have already communicated to the court in writing.”
Excerpts from the deposition of the uniformed members of the Adarsh society:
Captain (retd) Praveen Kumar, Indian Navy deposed on July 13, 2012
- “The hand written note (in the society membership application form) below clause 4 which reads ‘Spouse income is NIL’ and the hand written contents below clause 8 which reads ‘Whether you belong to backward class, if yes, certificate from competent authority – Yes I do belong to backward class’ are not my handwriting.”
- “I have no idea as to why I signed two separate undertakings on the same day, i.e on 13-4-2000 mentioning two different figures of my income. The figure “96,000 pa” in para 3 of the undertaking Ex MEM474B is not in my handwriting and somebody appears to have over written the same figure.”
- “I left India from New Zealand in April 2003…I have acquired citizenship of NZ in 2007….(wrote a letter to Collector in December 2008) I had given my address as 20/B, Sheetal apartments, Ghatkopar West. I had taken this room on rent. But in fact this letter was sent by me from New Zealand. I did not mention my NZ address in this letter because Shri RC Thakur had told me that I should maintain my address in Mumbai to make my case stronger.”
- Filed an affidavit in May 2008 which read, “I am the resident of Maharashtra and residing in Maharashtra since 1968..”. It is true on this date I was a resident of NZ…On the date of this certificate, I was residing in NZ. It is true that in my application and affidavit, I did not disclose the fact of my residence and citizenship of NZ.”
Commodore (retd) Gopal Bharti Director (Submarine and Heavy Engg), Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) deposed on the July 17, 2012
- “The hand written portion below clause 4 which reads, ‘Spouse income – nil’ and clause 9(a) which reads ‘Whether he belongs to backward class, if yes, certificate from competent authority – Yes’, were already written when I signed the application.”
- “When I applied for the membership of the Adarsh CHS, I was given an idea that a flat to be allotted to me would roughly cost Rs 35 lacs to Rs 40 lacs….The total amount paid by me to the society is Rs 88, 04, 757.”
- “I purchased the Noida flat in the year 1991 and the Gurgaon flat in 2001. (Both flats are roughly 1900 sq ft) I have let out these two flats right from the date of purchase except the initial period of six months. In my application for membership I have not shown the rental income of these two flats. Similarly, the said income was not shown in my undertaking which I made in the year 2004.”
General (retd) Deepak Kapoor deposed on July 19, 2012. He insisted that he did not see Adarsh as a security threat (notwithstanding the fact that the MoD has moved the Bombay HC citing the same and seeking demolition of the building). He also mentioned that he had used his official letter-head (at the time of his being the army chief) to write to politicians and seek relaxation of rules for his membership to be approved in Adarsh. Finally, he admitted that he ‘may have’ also authorised serving army personnel in the Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa area to correspond with the Adarsh society regarding his personal membership.