Government on Tuesday supported Army Chief Gen VK Singh at Chandigarh-bench of Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) in case of spoiling of Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) of Maj Gen TS Handa.
Maj Gen Handa has blamed Gen Singh for spoiling his two Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) as he did not accede to his demand of change of date of birth. Praying for setting aside ACRs, Handa presently posted with Army Training Command, Shimla, has claimed before the AFT that when he was serving as Deputy Military Secretary (Selection Boards and Complaints) in December 2006, General Singh (then Lt Gen and General Officer Commanding of 2 Corps, Ambala) had asked the Military Secretary (MS) Branch to change his recorded date of birth from May 10, 1950 to May 10, 1951.
"I was the head of the section where it (the case for change of DoB) was to be processed. It was decided against him. That is precisely [why] I was victimised… I was present at the wrong place at the wrong time and I was blown apart," Handa had submitted in the court in the last hearing through his lawyer Col NK Kohli (retd).
On Tuesday, the government defends General Singh saying that there "is no record of the purposed meeting between then Lt Gen VK Singh and the applicant (Maj Gen Handa). The averments made by the applicant are based on his own perceptions, media reports and conjectures and not derived from the official records, as were available with MS-8 Section (Military Secretary section where Handa was posted in 2006) working under supervision of Applicant.
It further says, "The applicant has invoked the fallacy of 'post hoc ergo procter hoc' to establish a cause and effect between the then Lt Gen VK Singh case file on the date of birth and the gradings the Gen officer has awarded to him as GOC-in-C Eastern Command."
The government also says, "these allegations are false and baseless and have been made with an aim to somehow make out a case to seek relief."
Capt Sandeep Bansal (retd), lawyer for Gen Singh, submitted that Handa raised the issue of date of birth of Gen Singh in the statutory complaint as an afterthought and not in non-statutory complaint filed earlier.
It was Gen Singh who dismissed the non-statutory complaint of Handa. Here also the government defended him.
It says, "The non-statutory complaint was considered by the collegiate comprising COAS (Chief of Army Staff), VCOAS (Vice Chief of Army Staff) and all the General Officers Commanding-in-Chiefs ( Army Commanders) and they have recommended rejection of the complaint. Since the power to decide non-statutory complaint is with COAS, he decided the same, based on the recommendations of the collegiate."
Gen Singh is set to retire on May 31 as the Supreme Court has refused to order change of his year of birth to 1950.