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Pallam Raju terms Army Chief's decision to move court as 'unfortunate'

New Delhi, Wed, 18 Jan 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Jan 18 (ANI): Minister of State for Defence, Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju, on Wednesday termed Army Chief General V.K. Singh's decision to move the Supreme Court over the issue concerning his date of birth as 'unfortunate' and an appalling precedent for the army.


"I don't want to touch on this very sensitive issue, but all that I can say that it is an unfortunate development and it is not a healthy precedent either for the Ministry or the Armed Forces," he told the media here.


The government earlier on Tuesday filed a caveat in the Supreme Court against any ex-parte order on the petition of General V.K. Singh challenging the decision over his date of birth.


Defence Minister A K Antony and Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid also met the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, to discuss the pros and cons of the Army Chief's action.


Moreover, Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma, who was in Malaysia on a two-day visit, was also called back yesterday to help the government in finding an amicable solution in view of the latest developments.


In an unprecedented move, General V.K. Singh moved the Supreme Court on Monday against the government's rejection of his claim on 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.


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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