Government to settle army chief age issue in court, not administrativelyJanuary 29th, 2012 - 6:25 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) Scotching rumours that it asked the Indian Army’s Adjutant General to correct records of General V.K. Singh’s year of birth to 1950 ahead of the hearing of his petition before the Supreme Court, the defence ministry Sunday said it would prefer to fight the case in the court rather than deal with it administratively.
Some media reports Sunday had suggested the defence ministry had written to the Adjutant General’s branch last week instructing it to effect the correction in the date of birth from May 10, 1951, to May 10, 1950.
“At this stage, we will prefer to deal with the matter in the court and not administratively. By the way, we had in July last year issued such an instruction to the Adjutant General’s branch after the ministry had rejected the army chief’s formal request to maintain 1951 as his year of birth. Much water has flown down the river since then…statutory complaint from the chief against that rejection was filed in August 2011, the ministry rejected his complaint in December 2011, and he has filed a case in the court,” a senior defence ministry official said Sunday.
In an unprecedented move, General Singh had a week ago filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the Dec 30, 2011, rejection of his statutory complaint asking the ministry to maintain his year of birth as 1951 that will entitle him to an extended 10-month tenure as army chief till March 2013.
The matter is expected to come up before the Supreme Court this week.
The age controversy stems from two sets of age records of Gen. Singh left with the Adjutant General and Military Secretary branches of the Indian Army. While the Adjutant General branch, the official record keeper and responsible for pay and pensions, has 1951 as the year of birth, the Military Secretary branch, which deals with postings and promotions, has 1950 as his year of birth.
While Gen Singh’s all previous appointments from Second Lieutenant to Major General were made on the basis of 1951 as the year of birth, his promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General in 2006 was made on the basis of 1950, as the military secretary’s records reflected 1950 as year birth as mentioned in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) application form for admission into the National Defence Academy in 1965 as a 14- or 15-year-old.
Singh’s promotions as corps commander, army commander and the army chief were made considering his year of birth as 1950 on the basis of an “acceptance” by him in 2006 and 2008. This “acceptance” was given under duress, contends Gen. Singh before the Supreme Court.
The age has become an issue as a 10-month extended service for Gen Singh will upset the existing succession plan of the army. The mantle of army chief will pass on to present Eastern Commander Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh if the incumbent chief retires in May this year as per official schedule. If he retires in March 2013, with his year of birth taken as 1951, the present Northern Commander Lt. Gen. K.T. Parnaik gets to become chief.
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- Army chief meets Mukherjee amid age row - Feb 02, 2012
- Army rejects defence ministry's order on chief's age - Aug 23, 2011
- Amidst age row, Indian Army chief meets key aides - Jan 02, 2012
- Army chief's age plea before Supreme Court Friday - Feb 09, 2012
- Indian Army chief to retire in just over 8 months: Antony - Sep 07, 2011
- Apex court questions process on army chief's age row (Second Lead) - Feb 03, 2012
- Government has right to determine tenure: Army chief - Jan 18, 2012
- Army chief meets Pranab, no breakthrough on age row (Lead) - Feb 03, 2012
- Supreme Court raps government over army chief's age row (Third Lead) - Feb 03, 2012
- Antony blames army for chief's age row (Lead) - Jan 31, 2012
- Army chief's plea to change age rejected, to retire in May 2012 (Lead) - Dec 30, 2011
- Antony, V.K. Singh blame army for age row (Roundup) - Jan 31, 2012
Tags: adjutant general, appointments, controversy, date of birth, defence ministry, formal request, indian army, jan 29, military secretary, ministry official, New Delhi, pensions, petition, postings, promotions, record keeper, rejection, supreme court, tenure, unprecedented move