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Give-and-take solution likely

delhi Updated: Jan 20, 2012 02:13 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times
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The defence ministry has kept the door open for settling the age row with the army chief out of court. It is looking for a political nod to a solution that hinges on the government accepting Gen VK Singh’s demand that his date of birth be taken as May 10, 1951 but at the same time limiting his tenure to May 31, 2012.

Singh has already taken his fight to get his date of birth changed from May 10, 1950 to May 10, 1951 to Supreme Court, where the matter is expected to come up on Friday.

Government sources said the army chief’s plea before the top court came up for discussion when he met defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma on Wednesday, with the latter pointing to the words “consequent benefits” in the petition.

The secretary asked the General if he was interested in one more year as army chief if his year of birth was settled at 1951.

It is learnt that Singh — whose tenure as military chief ends on May 31 this year, taking 1950 as his year of birth — made it clear he was only interested in getting his correct date of birth fixed and it was for the government to fix his tenure.

This means there is a possibility of the government accepting 1951 as Singh’s year of birth but limiting his tenure to May 31, 2012.

It is understood that Sharma is planning to take up this proposal with defence ministry AK Antony, keeping both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in the picture.