The issue of army chief Gen VK Singh's date of birth seems to have triggered tensions between the Army and the defence ministry amid indications that the matter could be referred to the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC).
While Army maintains that the issue has been laid to rest after the law ministry has "established" that Gen Singh's date of birth is May 10,1951 and not May 10,1950, the defence ministry is still pursuing the case to establish the Army Chief's actual age to determine his tenure in office.
"The defence minister (AK Antony) will be looking into the matter on the basis of all relevant documents," sources said on Thursday.
They said it is possible that the defence minister himself may not take the final call on the issue and may refer it to the ACC which had appointed the army chief as it has major ramifications.
Army sources, meanwhile, said the matter had been settled after the law ministry opined that Singh's correct date of birth is May 10,1951, which was mentioned in his Matriculation certificate as well as all other documents except the UPSC form.
In Service records also, the Adjutant General's Branch has Singh's date of birth as May 10, 1951.
Defence ministry sources said a "considered" view of the issue had to be taken as it will have an impact on the successor of the army chief as he will get an extension in tenure.
If May 10, 1951 is accepted as his date of birth, Singh will get an extension of ten months and retire in March 2013 otherwise he will retire in June next year.
If the extension is allowed, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen K T Parnaik would succeed the army chief and if he retires early, Lt Gen Bikram Singh would most likely be his successor.