SC to hear today PIL on Army chief's date of birth
The Supreme Court will hear today a PIL, filed by The Grenadiers Association (Rohtak Chapter), seeking a direction to the government to declare May 10, 1951 as the date of birth of Army chief Gen VK Singh instead of May 10, 1950. Exclusive: 1950 is VK Singh’s birth year, Army HQ told PM-led panel | Road to commanding heightsdelhi Updated: Jan 20, 2012 12:20 IST
The Supreme Court will hear on Friday a PIL seeking a direction to the government to declare May 10, 1951 as the date of birth of Army chief Gen VK Singh instead of May 10, 1950.
However, the petition filed by Gen Singh himself on the issue may not not come up for hearing as it is neither listed in the list of business nor in the list of matters to be mentioned on Friday.
Singh's counsel Punit Bali said he has no instructions as of now for mentioning the petition filed by Army chief when the bench will take up the matter of The Grenadiers Association.
The PIL, filed by The Grenadiers Association (Rohtak Chapter), is listed for hearing before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia on which the ministry of defence has already filed a caveat that no order should be passed without hearing it.
In the PIL it has been submitted that it was forced to approach the court as both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and defence minister AK Antony had rejected Singh's plea for change of his date of birth.
Earlier on December 16, the NGO's petition could not be heard by the bench of justices BS Chauhan and TS Thakur as the Justice Thakur had recused from hearing it.
The petitioner, an NGO headed by retired colonel BS Koshal, claimed the uncertainty over Army chief's date of birth has affected his morale impinging on national security.
The petition had sought a direction to the government to declare May 10, 1951 as the date of birth of Singh instead of 1950.
Gen Singh moved the Supreme Court on Monday challenging the government's rejection of his claim on his date of birth.
The Defence Ministry had recently rejected his contention that he was born in 1951 and not in 1950.
In its recent order, the Ministry has taken his date of birth as May 10, 1950, and not May 10, 1951, which the General has claimed as real as per his matriculation certificate.
In his own petition, the Army chief has contended that he was treated by the government in a manner which reflects total lack of procedure and principles of natural justice in deciding his age.
In his 68-page petition, Gen Singh has challenged the government's "illegal and arbitrary" rejection of his Statutory Complaint to defence minister AK Antony on December 30 last for accepting May 10, 1951 as his date of birth.
He has termed it as violation of his fundamental rights.
Seeking the quashing of this order, the Army chief has pleaded that the government be directed to treat May 10, 1951 as his date of birth and "grant all consequential reliefs thereto".
"The respondent (government) needs to explain as to why the senior most officer of the Army could be treated in a manner which reflects total lack of procedure and principles of natural justice and that too on an opinion obtained from the Attorney General," his petition said.
Gen Singh also wondered as to why the ministry of defence would doubt the records in the Adjutant General's branch, the official record-keeper of the Army, has not been explained.
Nor has any authority while rejecting his plea for treating his date of birth as 10.5.1951 ever doubted the birth certificate of the petitioner.