New Delhi, May 11 - CBI has registered a case against Defence Ministry officials and others as part of its probe into alleged irregularities in the sale of military land near the high-security Srinagar airport.
Immediately after registering the case, the agency carried out searches at various places in Jammu, Srinagar, Patna, Delhi and Chandigarh, official sources said.
The agency had registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) into the matter last year during which it claimed to have found evidences that No Objection Certificates (NOCs) were granted to private persons for this prime and strategic piece of land arbitrarily.
The CBI has named Ajay Chowdhary, a 1997-batch Defence Estates official, and others in the FIR registered under the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.
The agency had also conducted enquiry into the records of the Directorate General of Defence Estates and the local revenue, following a request from the Defence Ministry to probe the sanction of the NoC for sale of this land in Kashmir valley.
Defence Minister A K Antony had last year informed Parliament that on receipt of complaint, a preliminary enquiry was conducted during which it was found that prima-facie there have been irregularities in the issuance of NOCs which may have wider implications.
During the preliminary probe of the Defence Ministry, it was found that more than 70 NOCs were issued by the defence estates department in Srinagar during the last four years.
These NOCs were issued to private parties to buy more than 200 acres of land near high-security military installations in Srinagar.
According to the probe report of the Defence Ministry, some of the land belonging to defence remains in the name of private persons or state government in revenue records which is a cause of concern as a few persons may take advantage...
and enter into fraudulent sale/purchase transaction. The Directorate General of Defence Estates (DGDE) looks after the land for training, ranges, depots, airfields, quartering, camping and offices for military activities.
Ministry of Defence owns 17.53 lakh acres of land, out of which approximately 1.57 lakh acres is situated within the 62 notified cantonments and about 15.96 lakh acres is outside these cantonments. PTI