Debate over Gen Singh`s age sullying Army`s image: Rtd Lt Gen

As a controversy rages over Army Chief General V K Singh`s age, a retired Lieutenant General said the issue was "sullying the image of the army and should be settled soon".

Last Updated: Apr 27, 2011, 21:32 PM IST

New Delhi: As a controversy rages over
Army Chief General V K Singh`s age, a retired Lieutenant
General today said the issue was "sullying the image of the
army and should be settled soon".

Asking the media not to report the issue "on the basis
of documents leaked selectively by the aggrieved party",
Former Director General, Assam Rifles Lt Gen K S Yadava said
the matter should be solved through proper procedure by people
with technical and legal expertise.
"I accept that a mistake was committed and it could
not get rectified over the years. But I would request you all
to let the procedure take its course to solve this problem.
Let all the people with technical and legal knowledge decide
what is correct," Yadava said.

The retired Lt Gen who also served in the Military
Secretary branch of the Army and was addressing the press here
in his personal capacity as an ex-serviceman, also briefed the
reporters about the procedure followed by the Army to
determine the age of a member of its staff.
"Both Adjutant General and Military Secretary Branch
deals with age of a soldier. But authority to determine, check
and verify a person`s age lies with the AG`s branch," he said.

"In General V K Singh`s case all his service records
with AG branch and his Identity card say that his Date of
Birth (DOB) is 1951. But MS Branch has followed the DOB
mentioned in his UPSC form that is 1951," said Yadava.

On the documents available with media persons
regarding Gen Singh`s DOB, he said, "The person who leaks out
confidential matters is a criminal and should be dealt with as
such, but the person who makes use of that confidential note
is equally at fault."

The Army chief`s date of birth varies in records of
the Adjutant General`s and Military Secretary`s branches. The
AG branch, the official record keeper for salary and pension,
has May 10, 1951 as Singh`s date of birth but the Military
Secretary`s (MS) branch, in charge of promotions and postings,
records his date of birth as May 10, 1950.

Gen Singh is supposed to retire on June 1, 2012 but if
his date of birth as per AG branch records is accepted, he may
get an extension of around one year in office. As per rules,
an Army Chief can serve for three years or up to the age of
62, whichever is earlier.

PTI