Stung by the Adarsh Housing Society scam, the army is all set to order a court of inquiry into it while the defence ministry plans to slap show cause notices against serving officers.
Serving officers from the army and defence estates, who had "defacto possession" of the 6,490-sqmt plot close to military installations, will have to "answer how and when they alienated the land" to the Adarsh Housing Society, defence ministry sources said in New Delhi on Monday.
With the its preliminary probe, ordered by Defence Minister A K Antony last week, pointing "prima facie" towards a "criminal conspiracy" and "collusion" by some of its officers in the scam, the ministry is considering taking action against them before the beginning of the winter session of Parliament from November nine.
From its side, the army is proceeding to institute a court of inquiry into the affair to track and record the role played by its officers, both serving and retired, in letting the Adarsh society to build the 31-storey apartment block in 2003 overlooking sensitive defence infrastructure.
The army had been using the land for its training purposes since the early 1940s. In 1996, it had opened an ecological park on the land and the Military Engineering Service had build a boundary wall around it.
The army troops in Mumbai were holding their training sessions on the land till 1999, according to the army's report submitted to the defence ministry.
The Adarsh Society issue resurfaced recently after Western Naval Commander Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin wrote to the defence ministry seeking action against the building promoters for disregarding security concerns.
Among those allotted flats in the 100-feet building are former Army Chiefs Generals Deepak Kapoor and N C Vij, retired Navy Chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh, former Union Minister Suresh Prabhu and kin of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.
Of the 104 apartments in the buildings, about 40 have been allotted to serving personnel from the army, navy and the defence estates, which is the custodian of all defence land in the country.
Some of these officers were reportedly in the chain of command that apparently overlooked the land being alienated from the army's possession and Adarsh Society constructing the building there, an issue that is being "closely" looked into by the defence ministry probe.
Antony had sought reports on the Adarsh Society from the army, navy and the defence estates when he had ordered the probe. While the army and defence estates reports have been submitted to him, the navy was yet to give its comments.
"The navy report will be submitted soon. We are awaiting the their comments so that we can take a final call on the action to be taken," sources said.