CBI to probe Kandivil land scam case

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over the probe into Maharashtra government`s decision to sell a land plot measuring over one acre, occupied by the Army in suburban Kandivli here, to a private company.

The case is similar to the Adarsh Housing Society scam in which the Ministry of Defence had alleged that state government officials had in connivance with private persons handed over land, which was under Army`s possession. The Kandivli land scam too will look into the alleged role of Defence estate officials and state government officials.

"We got a reference from the Defence Ministry to probe the Kandivli land scam case. We have sought permission from the Delhi headquarters to register either preliminary enquiry or FIR," a senior CBI official said.

The Army`s Southern command had sought a CBI probe into the case claiming that the sale of land to Neo Pharma Private Limited, a subsidiary of the Kalpataru group, by the state government was illegal as the land was in possession of the Defence Ministry. According to the Army, in June 2007, the government sold the land for Rs 5.94 crore despite objections by the Defence Ministry.

The land now houses the car park and recreation area of the 30-plus-storey Kalpatru Towers that has been built on an adjoining private plot.According to the CBI official, the Ministry of Defence had ordered for a CBI probe after the Court of Inquiry set up by it indicted several army officials including senior officers.