Army Chief birth date: SC Judge recuses himself

The petitioner claimed the uncertainty over Army chief`s date of birth has affected his morale impinging on national security.

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2011, 12:41 PM IST

New Delhi: A Supreme Court judge hearing a plea seeking a direction to the government to decide the date of birth of Army Chief General VK Singh on Friday recused himself from the case.

A bench of justices BS Chauhan and TS Thakur told the petitioner, The Grenadiers Association, that the matter would be placed before another bench for hearing after Justice Thakur recused himself from the case.

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.

"If a general of an Army is clamouring for justice on account of flux and instability created by the Government of India regarding the age of superannuation, such general would not be able to deliver his best to preserve national interest
and safeguard sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of India against any external threat by deterrence or by waging war," the petition said.

The petition has sought a direction to the government to decide May 10, 1951 as the date of birth of Singh instead of 1950.

The petition filed through counsel Manohar Singh Bakshi stated that the country is passing through a crucial phase as the Indian Army is engaged in the defence of "Aksai Chin" in both the northwest and northeastern parts of the border.

The organisation 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.

The organisation stated that the government`s decision to reject Singh`s plea was contrary to the number of judgements delivered by the apex court that the date of birth of any person shall be determined on the basis of the school leaving
certificate.

"It shall jeopardise public interest if executive authority of the government has to determine the date of birth of a person at the fag end of his service career," it said.

PTI