Antony keeps General Singh on tenterhooks | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Antony keeps General Singh on tenterhooks

Taking cover that defence minister was not legally bound by a stipulated 90 day period for addressing statutory complaint of service officers, AK Antony is all set to keep Army Chief General VK Singh on tenterhooks over the age issue.

delhi Updated: Nov 25, 2011 01:32 IST
Shishir Gupta

Taking cover that defence minister was not legally bound by a stipulated 90 day period for addressing statutory complaint of service officers, AK Antony is all set to keep Army Chief General VK Singh on tenterhooks over the age issue. General Singh had filed complaint of his age issue before Antony on August 24 and on Thursday, the 90 day mandatory period expired, without defence minister replying to General Singh.

The government sources said General Singh's complaint that the ministry's order of July 22, 2011 rejecting army chief's claims that his date of birth was May 10, 1951 but 1950 was still being examined by defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma and the final decision was still to be taken.

It is understood that Antony will only come into the picture after Sharma processes the complaint after going through voluminous annexure attached the complaint. "The complaint is voluminous and Antony will only take a considered decision after the papers were processed," said a senior official.

However, Antony and General Singh seems heading on a collision path as both have different perspective on the time bar of statutory complaints.

It is learnt that defence ministry has told Antony that he was not required to dispose of General Singh's complaint in 90 days under any rule and could only address the issue once South Block was off a definitive view on the subject.

But time is running out on General Singh as he will retire in May next year if Antony does not order the age correction.

General Singh and the army headquarters, on the other hand, believe that statutory complaint under the rules has to be disposed of by the service headquarters in 90 days in consultation with the defence ministry even if the officer is posted in the border areas.