Army chief`s last-ditch attempt on age row

Last Updated: Monday, August 29, 2011 - 22:42

New Delhi: In a last-ditch attempt, General
VK Singh has filed a statutory complaint with the Defence
Minister seeking re-examination of its decision to reject his
claim on the date of birth.

In a first for any Army chief, he filed the complaint
with Defence Minister AK Antony under the Army Act on Friday
asking him to take a decision on his date of birth purely on
basis of merit and available evidence.

Gen Singh has been seeking change of date of birth in the
Army records from May 10, 1950 to May 10, 1951 that will give
an additional 10 months in office.

However, the Defence Ministry has decided to stick to May
10, 1950 as given by him in his declaration in UPSC records,
which also reflects in the Military Secretary branch records.

The complaint filed by Gen Singh is being examined by the
Ministry, Defence Ministry sources said.

Army sources said that a Statutory Complaint under the
Army Act is the last in-house official remedy available to a
serving officer. If he is not satisfied with the decision on
his complaint, the next option for him can be approaching the
Tribunal.

Reacting to the reports that Gen Singh has filed a
Statutory Complaint, Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam
Raju said, "Where is the controversy? The Ministry has looked
into the issue and has given an opinion".

"I think the view taken by the Ministry is known. You
already know the view the Minister has taken," Raju told
reporters outside Parliament House.

When asked whether the Chief of Army Staff is upset over
Ministry`s decision to fix his year of birth as 1950, Raju
said, "I cannot comment on that, but with whatever information
Ministry has taken a view. Why are you making it into a
controversy?"

Meanwhile, Defence Minister AK Antony refused to comment
on the issue.

The Army Act provides scope for an officer wronged by his
commanding officer or any superior officer may complaint to
the Central government if he has not got proper redress from
his superiors.

However, it is not clear under which rule the Army Chief
has filed his Statutory Complaint to the Minister because he
is the top-most official in the Army.

PTI



First Published: Monday, August 29, 2011 - 22:42

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