VeKare sees `scam’ in Department of Sainik Welfare

`Ex-director allotted sites to ineligible persons’ 

  • Land granted in Indiranagar, Bangalore, to provide 26 free sites to war widows
  • Brig. Vijaykumar accused of allotting nine sites in violation of law in 1999
  • Trust seeks high-level inquiry into the alleged scam

MYSORE: VeKare Ex-Servicemen’s Trust (VKET) has blown the lid off an alleged housing scam involving fraudulent allotment of sites in a prime residential locality in Bangalore by the Department of Sainik Welfare and Resettlement.

In a letter to the Chief Secretary to the State Government, the CBI Director and the Defence Secretary, President of the trust M.N. Subramani said Brig. Siddappa Vijaykumar (retired) during his tenure as the Director of the Department of Sainik Welfare and Resettlement in 1999 committed a fraud by illegally allotting sites to ineligible persons, including himself.

Out of the nine “fraudulent” allotment made by the department in May 1999, the retired brigadier allotted a site for himself and two each to three others in violation of the law. The trust has raised questions over the silence maintained by Brig. Vijaykumar’s successor Col. C.M. Uthaiah (retired) over the alleged scam.

According to the trust, the State Government had granted a piece of prime land in Indiranagar in Bangalore to provide 26 free sites and houses built out of the corpus of Governor’s Defence Fund for the benefit of war widows and dependents of soldiers killed in war and war-like situations.

Arguing that the present market value of the sites runs into crores of rupees as the rate in the Indiranagar area is around Rs. 4,000 a sq foot, Mr. Subramani alleged that the then Director of the department Brig. Vijaykumar, after securing an extension of service, “altered the subject and format of the allotment letters” in May 1999 and allotted a site each to himself and the then Assistant Director Ramappa Thimme Gowda, besides a plot jointly to Shobha Latha and Alexander, the latter a driver in the department.

“None of these ex-servicemen are eligible for this largesse from the government,” Mr. Subramani claimed.

Further, Brig. Vijaykumar allotted two housing plots each to ex-sepoy Rasool Khan, Hon. Flying Officer Mahaboob Khan and Kashi Bai Halagali, widow of Major T.G. Halagalli.

“These six plots form a rectangle amidst 26 plots earmarked for war widows and battle casualties. These allotments are certainly a conspiracy hatched by Brig. Vijaykumar for embezzlement,” Mr Subramani alleged.

Though plots are allotted to beneficiaries on lease for 10 years in accordance with rules and possession certificates are to be retained with the Director of the department till the lapse of the lease period, Brig. Vijaykumar, within two days of his retirement, bought the plot allotted to Ms. Shobha Latha and Mr. Alexander for Rs. 2 lakhs in April 2000 through an absolute sale deed.

The retired brigadier sold the same plot for Rs. 6 lakhs in December 2000, Mr. Subramani alleged.

The trust has regretted that Director Col. Uthaiah has failed to take cognizance of the alleged crime committed by his predecessor and lodge a criminal complaint in the interest of war widows and dependents of battle casualties.

Mr. Subramani has urged the authorities to order a high-level probe.

Courtesy: The Hindu

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