The court of special judge D R Mahajan on Wednesday granted an ad interim anticipatory bail to former vice chief of army staff Lt Gen Noble Thamburaj, till March 28, in the case pertaining to his alleged involvement in a defence land lease case. The bail order states that Thamburaj, in the event of his arrest, shall be released on a personal bond and surety bond of Rs 30,000 with one or two sureties of the like amount. The court has directed Thamburaj not to leave Pune and cooperate with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) whenever he is called for questioning. The CBI, Pune unit, is being served a court notice seeking its written submission on Thamburaj’s bail plea, which is to be heard next on March 28. On January 30, the Army Headquarters, New Delhi, had registered a complaint with the CBI alleging that Thamburaj, who was then General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Command in Pune, and former defence estates officer S R Nayyar extended undue favour to a construction firm, Kalpataru Builders, in the matter of leasing a bungalow on a prime defence land in the Pune cantonment.
The matter relates to a 0.96 acre piece of land at bungalow no 8-A, survey no. 241-A, Lothian road, in the Pune cantonment. The land was leased to the construction firm. The CBI complaint stated that in doing so, Thamburaj and Nayyar ignored the existing rules and policies and violated the terms of lease. The Army Headquarters sought registration of offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal misconduct in the matter. On January 31, CBI teams had carried out searches at the residences of Thamburaj and Nayyar and the office of Kalpataru Builders in Koregaon Park. Thamburaj moved the court on Wednesday for an anticipatory bail in the matter through his counsel, Sudhir Shah. The court passed the ad interim anticipatory bail order in an ex-parte hearing process.