General VK Singh's battle over his age intensified on Sunday with the Army headquarters insisting that the date of birth mentioned in his matric certificate cannot be ignored while the defence ministry has rejected his contention.
The Army chief has two sets of date of birth in records. The military secretary (MS) branch shows it to be May 10, 1950 whereas the Adjutant General's (AG) branch shows it to be May 10, 1951. The chief's matriculation certificate also shows it to be May 10, 1951.
The ministry has declared as "null and void and non est" and "unauthorised and illegal" the change in the date of birth to May 10, 1951 in Gen Singh's service records made by the AG branch in February this year.
In its first public response on the issue, Army's additional director general (public information) said that "the value of a matriculation certificate can't be wished away".
He said the defence ministry has arrived at its decision on the issue on basis of what it was told by the MS Branch which has no jurisdiction on such issues.
"The custodian of records, at the Army Headquarters, is the AG's branch and the MS Branch has no jurisdictional authority on the issue as per regulations for the Army and the charter given to each branch," he said.
The ADG (PI) said the "confusion" on the date of birth issue "has occurred because the AG's branch has not been consulted."