Tension between Army, MOD over Army Chief`s date of birth

The issue of Army Chief Gen V K Singh`s date of birth seems to have triggered tensions between the Army and the Defence Ministry amid indications that the matter could be referred to the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC).

Last Updated: Apr 21, 2011, 22:12 PM IST

New Delhi: The issue of Army Chief Gen V K
Singh`s date of birth seems to have triggered tensions between the Army and the Defence Ministry amid indications that the
matter could be referred to the Appointments Committee of
Cabinet (ACC).

While Army maintains that the issue has been laid to rest
after the Law Ministry has "established" that Gen Singh`s date
of birth is May 10,1951 and not May 10,1950, the Defence
Ministry is still pursuing the case to establish the Army
Chief`s actual age to determine his tenure in office.

"The Defence Minister (A K Antony) will be looking into
the matter on the basis of all relevant documents," sources
said today.

They said it is possible that the Defence Minister
himself may not take the final call on the issue and may refer
it to the ACC which had appointed the Army Chief as it has
major ramifications.

Army sources, meanwhile, said the matter had been settled
after the Law Ministry opined that Singh`s correct date of
birth is May 10,1951, which was mentioned in his Matriculation
certificate as well as all other documents except the UPSC
form.
In Service records also, the Adjutant General`s Branch
has Singh`s date of birth as May 10, 1951.

Defence Ministry sources said a "considered" view of the
issue had to be taken as it will have an impact on the
successor of Army chief as he will get an extension in tenure.

If May 10, 1951 is accepted as his date of birth, Singh
will get an extension of ten months and retire in March 2013
otherwise he will retire in June next year.

If the extension is allowed, Northern Army Commander
Lt Gen K T Parnaik would succeed the Army Chief and if he
retires early, Lt Gen Bikram Singh would most likely be his
successor.

PTI