CBI closure report has no bearing on our claim on 44% of plot: Army official

The CBI move to closure report of 8 A Lothian Road case may have come as a relief for Lt Gen (retd) Nobel Thamburaj, former GOC-in-C, Southern Command, and Sevak Nayyar, former Defence Estates Officer (DEO), Pune Circle. But it will have no impact on the case in Bombay High Court where the Army has been fighting for its right on 44 per cent of the 0.968 acre plot in Pune Camp.

"If the CBI closure means that 8 A Lothian Road was not an illegal transaction, it may have been a `bad administrative decision' but in both the cases, we have been rightly claiming 44 per cent portion of 8A Lothian Road," said an Army official.

As reported earlier by The Indian Express, 8A, Lothian Road (GLR survey No- 241-A) measuring 0.968 acres was held on lease for an initial period of 30 years from August 1, 1946 and was renewable up to 90 years. The lease is valid up to July 31, 2036.

According to 15th report of the Standing Committee on Defence presented in the Lok Sabha on April 30, 2012, "The lease was granted for dwelling houses and shops. The lease rights to the land were transferred by HOR (Holder of Occupancy Rights) to M/s Kalpataru Builders, Mumbai. Kalpataru builders applied for sanction to construct commercial/ residential

accommodation.

Army authorities insisted on reservation of property on the basis of 56 per cent for commercial purpose and 44 per cent for residential purpose, with residential accommodation to be offered for married officers' accommodation."

Kalptaru Builders had approached the Hisgh Court against the 44 per cent reservation for Army officers' residential accommodation and the HC in September 2005 ruled in the Army's favour. Kalptaru Builders' appeal in the Supreme Court was dismissed in December 2009.

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