Mumbai, Feb 1: Former Vice Chief of Indian Army Lt Gen Nobel Thamburaj and two others were on Tuesday booked by the CBI on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and misconduct in an out of court land dispute settlement to benefit a private builder to the tune of Rs 46 crore.
The case was registered against Gen Thamburaj last evening under various sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act in a designated CBI court here after receiving requisite sanction from the Defence Ministry.
Gen Thamburaj, while he was posted as General-Officer-in-Command of Southern Command, is alleged to have entered into a criminal conspiracy with former Defence Estate Officer S R Nayyar and Pune-based Kalpataru builders in settling a matter out of the court of a defence property despite having favourable orders from various courts, a CBI statement said.
The CBI today carried out searches at various places in Mumbai and Pune which included the residential premises of the retired General. This is possibly for the first time that a vice chief of the Indian Army is facing corruption charges.
According to the CBI, Thamburaj, who retired as Vice Chief in October 2009, and Nayyar had allegedly shown undue favour to the builder for a property measuring 0.96 acres in Defence Land at Pune Cantonment.
“There was a dispute going on regarding the property in question. Thamburaj and Nayyar settled the matter out of court in spite of several court orders given in favour of the army. The duo indulged in gross misconduct,” CBI said.
The two officers ignored rules and policies, violated the terms of lease entered into by the Ministry of Defence and Kalpataru and caused the private company pecuniary gains of about Rs 46 crore, it said.
According to CBI officials, there was a property dispute between Defence Ministry and the builder and the High Court had in 2005 passed an order in favour of the MoD.
Despite that, the two accused allegedly tweaked certain rules and policies and did an out of settlement with Kalpataru builders without the knowledge of higher authorities of the Defence Ministry, the CBI alleged.
“Investigations are on to find out what the two accused got in return of the undue favour shown by them to Kalpataru,” Joint Director (Western Region) CBI, Rishiraj Singh said.
Searches were being conducted at the Pune residences of Thamburaj and Nayyar and also at the office premises of Kalpataru builders at Koregaon Park in Pune.
Thamburaj, a 1969 batch officer from Bombay Sappers, was GoC-in-C of the Southern Command till December 31, 2008 before being appointed as Vice Chief of Army on January one, 2009.
The offence is alleged to have taken place in 2008 and CBI was also listing properties of all the accused in the case which has been registered under 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) of the IPC and section 13 (2) and 13(1)(d) (criminal misconduct) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.