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Supreme Court not to intervene in Army Chief's date of birth issue(Update)

New Delhi, Fri, 10 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 10 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday grilled Army Chief General V.K. Singh on his date of birth, and said the issue should be solved amicably and should not have been brought into the public domain.


Asking tough questions of the army chief and his lawyers, the two-judge bench of the apex court said there is no scope for them to intervene in the matter.


Stating that the most important document regarding the birth date is the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) record, R M Lodha and H L Gokhale said all threshold documents record 1950 as date of birth of the army chief.


They further told the army chief that the Ministry of Defence had acted fairly with him.


The government had earlier in the day withdrawn its December 30, 2011 order rejecting the army chief's statutory complaint for treating his date of birth as May 10, 1951 instead of May 10, 1950.


The latest development comes in the wake of a crucial hearing on the army chief's age row in the Supreme Court.


The government's decision to rescind the order came against the backdrop of the apex court stating that its December 30 order was vitiated and would be quashed if this was not done.


Attorney General G E Vahanvati, however, made it clear that government was sticking to its July 21 and July 22 orders of last year turning down Gen Singh's plea on the age row.


General Singh had earlier placed additional documents before the Supreme Court to support his case for restoring his date of birth as May 10, 1951. he documents that were filed on Wednesday relate to army rules on commissioning of officers.


The fresh documents were filed two days ahead of the crucial hearing on the petition filed by General Singh seeking to set aside two orders rejecting his plea.


The Supreme Court had earlier on February 3 deferred the hearing in the ongoing standoff between the Army Chief and the government over the former's age till February 10.


The apex court, which was hearing a petition by General Singh, questioned the manner in which the complaint about his age was rejected by the Defence Ministry in December last year.


The court has asked the government whether it would withdraw this order since the decision-making process in rejecting the complaint was vitiated.


The court also referred to the Attorney General's role in the matter and wanted to know how an officer who gave an opinion against the Army Chief in the first instance could also be involved in deciding on his complaint on the age issue.


General 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. (ANI)


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