PAC slams Government for inaction in Adarsh Housing Scam
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament, in its report, has slammed the government for its failure to fix responsibility and take action against officials who violated rules in the Adarsh housing society scandal as well as to plug loopholes in defence land management and environmental regulations.
The PAC report was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday and it said, “The committee is shocked to note the MoD’s action taken report is silent about the action initiated against the group of officials who held key posts in the ministry and violated rules and regulations, committing unpardonable irregularities under the ruse of welfare of servicemen, war widows and children.”
A new high-level defence ministry inquiry had blamed several top military and defence estates officers, including former Army chiefs Generals N C Vij and Deepak Kapoor, for various acts of omission and commission in allowing the illegal construction of the 31-storey Adarsh building in the tony Colaba area of Mumbai. The MoD inquiry has also sought “appropriate administrative measures” against Generals Vij and Kapoor, three Lieutenant Generals, four Major Generals and others, who were allotted flats in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society (ACHS) and allowed the towering building to come up as a major security threat next to crucial defence installations in the Colaba military station.
The PAC had castigated the MoD and Maharashtra government for “monumental failure at all levels of governance” in its original report on the Adarsh scam submitted in December 2013. It added,”The MoD must fix responsibility of the erring officials, award exemplary punishment to them and apprise the committee accordingly within four months.”
The PAC, on its part, also expressed “dismay” over MoD’s “miserable failure” to accomplish the physical survey, clear demarcation and proper verification of its land around the country. The PAC reiterated there was an urgent need to “implement transparency in allotment of government land and eliminate unwarranted discretion”. It said the MoD’s action taken report was also “devoid of the action” taken against “delinquent officials” of the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority for “dereliction of duty in not detecting serious environmental violation by the ACHS”.