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Antony meets PM to discuss Army Chief's age row

New Delhi, Tue, 17 Jan 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Jan 17 (ANI): A day after Army Chief General V.K. Singh moved the Supreme Court against the government's rejection of his claim on his date of birth, Defence Minister A K Antony met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh here on Tuesday to discuss the matter.


According to reports, Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma, who was in Malaysia on a visit, has also been called back in view of the latest developments that have taken place.


The Defence Minister reportedly also had a discussion with Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati on the issue.


Meanwhile, the government earlier in the day filed a caveat in the Supreme Court against any ex-parte order on the petition of Army Chief Gen challenging the decision over his date of birth.


General V.K. Singh is believed to have questioned the government's decision to treat his date of birth, as May 10,1950 instead of May 10,1951 as claimed by him on the basis of his matriculation certificate and other documents, in his writ petition filed in the apex court.


General Singh had earlier on Sunday said that he has "no clue" of any early resolution of the ongoing controversy surrounding his age issue, but insisted that the matter be allowed to rest and not become a public debate.


To a poser on whether he is expecting an early resolution of the issue surrounding his age, General Singh said: "I have got no clue. I am working as I am."


"I don"t want to say anything. He has expressed his confidence and I am following that. Earlier also I have said that I am working for the organisation. I appreciate his confidence and will try to stand upto that," he added, when asked to comment on the confidence expressed by Defence Minister A K Antony in him regardless of the ongoing issue.


When asked to clarify whether the issue has been settled by the Defence Ministry, General Singh said: "Why do you want a clarity? I have said this is an issue that should be allowed to rest, and not become a public debate. So there is no requirement to give it any spin, or to give it any more wings than what it actually is."


"I think I have already said a lot of things on this subject. Actually there is no requirement for me to say anything on this subject. The reason is that, whatever I say will either be misinterpreted or interpreted in a manner in which somebody will write it," he added, when asked whether he would accept the government decision, if the age issue is delinked from his tenure in office.


General V.K. Singh had earlier this month disassociated himself with the reports of fresh representations by him concerning his date of birth.


Reports in the media had earlier indicated that General V.K. Singh had written to the Government that his date of birth was May 10, 1951 and not 1950 as entered on the basis of his application when he entered the National Defence Academy.


According to certain reports, the controversy stemmed from different sets of records in the adjutant general and military secretary branches of the Indian Army Headquarters.


While the adjutant general's branch that deals with pay, perks and pensions maintains 1951 as his year of birth, the military secretary branch that deals with appointments and promotions has 1950 in its records.


The Ministry of Defence had earlier rejected Army Chief General V. K. Singh's statutory complaint seeking a correction of his date of birth in the army records.


According to reports, General Singh has been conveyed that that he will have to retire from service on May 31, 2012 on completion of his two-year tenure.


General Singh, who has consistently claimed that he was born in 1951 and not 1950 as maintained, had in his statutory complaint asked the Defence Ministry to consider May 10, 1951 as his date of birth.


The Army Chief had earlier filed the statutory complaint with Defence Minister A. K. Antony after the government issued an order on July 21 in which it said that it will consider May 10, 1950 as his date of birth. (ANI)


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