New Delhi: The Defence Ministry has ordered a CBI inquiry into the Kandivili land case where a defence land in Mumbai was given to a private company for further development, the Rajya Sabha was told on Wednesday.

In a written reply, Defence Minister A K Antony said, "The Court of Inquiry (CoI) has been completed in the case and it has been handed over to CBI on November 30." The CoI was conducted by Headquarters Southern Command.

Army Headquarters (AHQ) had also recommended that the case pertaining to the sale of 13.28 acres of land which was ordered by the Collector of Mumbai Suburban District to a private party be investigated by the CBI.

In 2007, Collector, Mumbai Suburban District, allotted the land adjacent to Central Ordnance Depot (COD) to Neo Pharma limited after receiving its market value, Antony told the House.

"This was objected to by COD and Defence Estates Officer (DEO) on the grounds that this formed part of Defence land on hire. Collector was also informed that COD will not permit any agency to take possession of Defence Land without approval of Ministry of Defence," he said.

However, their objections were overruled by the Collector.

But COD persisted with its objections and resisted handing over possession of the said land, he added.

Subsequently, at the direction of Headquarters, Southern Command, all obstacles were removed and Neo Pharma was permitted to go ahead with the planned development of the Plot, he added.

"After considering the matter, government has asked AHQ to ascertain either by holding a CoI or otherwise as to how Headquarters Southern Command relinquished claim on the said land," Antony said.

(Agencies)