The defence ministry has sought the opinion of the government’s top law officer to settle the controversy created by two conflicting dates of birth in army chief Gen VK Singh’s dossiers. The contradictory DoBs --- May 10, 1950 and May 10, 1951 --- could disturb the army’s hierarchy.
If the 1951 date were to be taken into account, Singh would retire in March 2013 instead of May 2012. If the chief retires next year, he will be replaced by Eastern Army commander Lt Gen Bikram Singh, who could be succeeded by Dimapur-based 3 Corps Commander Lt Gen Dalbir Singh.
But if VK Singh retires in 2013, Northern Army commander Lt Gen KT Parnaik will be the next chief as Bikram Singh would have retired by then. Parnaik’s successor could then be Maj Gen Ashok Singh, currently heading the Junior Command wing at Army War College in Mhow.
Sources said the ministry would take a call on the matter after receiving legal opinion from Attorney General GE Vahanvati.
The army had shut the case after Singh made a commitment in 2008 accepting the 1950 date, as reported by HT.
But the issue resurfaced after Singh took over as chief following a Right to Information (RTI) query on which the army sought legal opinion as the chief’s matriculation certificate mentions his DoB as May 10, 1951.
The law ministry in a controversial opinion on February 14 accepted Singh’s DoB as May 10, 1951, contradicting army rules and ignoring vital documents that show Singh a year older.