India looks set to get a new army chief in the new year. The defence ministry has rejected army chief Gen VK Singh's statutory complaint to change his date of birth (DoB) from May 10, 1950 to May 10, 1951. Under the circumstances, Singh will retire in May on turning 62.
A statutory complaint is a provision extended to army personnel that requires the ministry to reply to the issues raised by them within 90 days.
The army chief's application form for admission to country's premier defence training school the National Defence Academy has 1950 as his year of birth, but the year is 1951 in his matriculation certificate.
Four former chief justices have given opinion in support of Singh's claim. The law ministry has rejected his plea thrice.
Had it been accepted, the army chief would have got 10 more months in office. Eastern army commander Lt Gen Bikram Singh will be the top contender to replace Gen VK Singh.
A public interest litigation on the age issue is pending before the Supreme Court. Gen Singh has the option of approaching either the apex court or the Armed Forces Tribunal.