Land case dents Army image, will act: Chief
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In his first public comments on the Darjeeling land scandal, Army chief General Deepak Kapoor today said that the top priority now was to dispense justice but a CBI inquiry could also follow into the role of the land developer whose association with a top General came under the scanner.
Responding to a question at a press conference on the eve of Army Day, Gen Kapoor said the Army would "look into the aspect" of involving the CBI to investigate the role of the land
An Army inquiry into NOCs for transfer of 71 acres near the 33 Corps headquarters in Sukna found that Dilip Agarwal, the land developer, had close links with Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash, Military Secretary, who has been indicted in the case.
While the inquiry stated the links between Agarwal and Prakash, it did not have the authority to investigate financial links or the monetary aspects involving the builder as he is not under the purview of the Army Act. Agarwal was questioned by the Army but the inquiry report said he was "evasive" about his business dealings.
Gen Kapoor admitted that such cases "dent the image of the Army" but maintained that these should be seen as "aberrations" that need to be corrected "so that the image of the Army is maintained".
He said "expeditious and judicious" action would be taken against officers found blameworthy. "It is part of my responsibility to dispense justice which is fair, is just and based on the facts, takes into account the culpability of the individuals involved and, lastly, justice that is not swayed by extraneous considerations — be it personal bias, media pressure or any other aspect," he said.
Holding that he would not comment on the specifics of the case — at one point he said "would you expect a judge to talk about a person under trial — the Army chief said he took a decision on the case based on all aspects.