Govt wants army chief’s year of birth fixed as 1950
With an eye towards the army chief's petition on the age issue before SC, the defence ministry has directed the Adjutant General to change Gen VK Singh's date of birth to May 10, 1950 on the basis of rejection of officer's statutory complaint. Shishir Gupta reports. Govt prefers SC battle to patch-up | 2 dates of birth and a simmering row | A question of hierarchydelhi Updated: Jan 30, 2012 01:33 IST
With an eye towards the army chief's petition on the age issue before Supreme Court, the defence ministry has now directed the Adjutant General, official record keeper of military, to change General VK Singh's date of birth to May 10, 1950 on the basis of rejection of officer's statutory complaint. The AG branch to date maintains General Singh's date of birth as May 10, 1951.
Government sources said that on January 23, 2012, the defence ministry had directed the Army Headquarters to ensure strict compliance of its order to change the General's date of birth, as May 10, 1951 recorded by AG branch (Manpower Directorate) has been found not to be correrct.
It has further directed that the earlier February 25, 2011 order directing AG branch to amend Gen Singh's DOB from 1950 to 1951 had been declared to be null and void and non est.
The letter emphasises that contents of ministry's subsequent July 21, 2011 office memorandum, against which Gen Singh sought redressal through August 26, 2011 statutory complaint, was legally firm and should be noted for guidance on the age issue.
Gen VK Singh's petition is expected to come up before the Supreme court on February 3, 2012. The case will also decide whether Gen Singh will retire on May 31, 2012 or May 31, 2013 depending on his date of birth.
Gen Singh in his statutory complaint had requested the defence minister, AK Antony, to reconsider and withdraw the July 21, 2011 OM and the susequent order the next day. The complaint was rejected by the ministry on December 30, 2011.
Senior ministry officials said that the letter rejects the contention that no inquiry had been conducted by the Army Headquarters nor had AG branch co-upted or informed about Gen Singh date of birth.
It says military secretary with the approval of then Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor had informed the ministry on Jan 30, 2008 that a detailed examination had been carried out in consultation with AG branch in regards to the date of birth of Gen Singh. It adds that the date of birth of the officer continued to be May 10, 1950.