Age row: SC to hear Army chief`s petition on Feb 3

General VK Singh will have to retire from service if his date of birth is finally determined as 10.5.1950.

Last Updated: Jan 26, 2012, 20:23 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on February 3 the petition filed by Army chief General VK Singh seeking a direction to the government to declare his date of
birth as May 10, 1951 instead of May 10, 1950.

A PIL on the issue has already been dismissed by the apex court earlier this week.

Gen Singh`s unprecedented action in dragging the government to the apex court followed the Defence Ministry`s insistence that May 10, 1950 would be treated his official date of birth and that he would consequently retire on May 31
this year.

In his 68-page petition, Gen Singh had told the Supreme
Court 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.

Challenging the government`s decision to determine his
date of birth as 10.5.1950 and not 1951, he has maintained
that his acceptance of his year of birth as 1950 was given in
good faith at the behest of the then chief of Army Staff and
not due to agreement with the conclusion of the Military
Secretary`s Branch.

"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.

The Army chief 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 has ever doubted the
birth certificate of the petitioner.

"One fails to understand as to why such importance being
given to an inadvertent mistake while filling up the UPSC form
while ignoring the date of birth recorded in public record,"
he said.

Gen Singh will have to retire from service if his date of
birth is finally determined as 10.5.1950.

PTI