Thursday 12 December 2019, 06:45 AM
Army chief meets Pranab, no breakthrough on age row
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 2/2/2012 12:00:00 AM
Army chief meets Pranab, no breakthrough on age row

New Delhi : The Indian Army chief, General V.K. Singh Thursday met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee over the raging age row, a day before the Supreme Court is likely to take up the issue.

But the meeting ended without any breakthrough even as the two were keen to solve the impasse, sources privy to the meeting said. Earlier, there was a buzz in the defence ministry that a compromise may be in the offing between the general and the government locked in a bitter controversy over his varying dates of birth.

The sources said that two sides stuck to their points and then left the matter to be decided by the apex court, which is likely to take up the matter for hearing Friday. The meeting that lasted for about half an hour took place at Mukherjee''s South Block office late in the evening. Interestingly, Gen Singh in civil clothes did not use his official army vehicle to drive up to the finance minister''s office.

The army chief moved the Supreme Court after the defence ministry in December rejected his statutory complaint, requesting a change of his year of birth in official records to 1951 from 1950. The controversy stems from two sets of records with the Adjutant General''s and Military Secretary''s branches of the Indian Army.

Singh, citing birth records, says he was born in 1951 and was not due to retire until March 2013.  But records at the defence ministry show he was born in 1950, which means that Singh, who became army chief in March 2010, is due to step down in May this year.

The defence ministry last week wrote to the adjutant general, military secretary and the comptroller general of defence accounts that Singh''s officially recognised date of birth will remain as May 10, 1950 and all records should be reconciled accordingly.

The matter will now be decided by a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice R.M. Lodha.  In his plea, Singh has accused the government of treating him in a manner that "reflects total lack of procedure and principles of natural justice and that too on an opinion obtained from the attorney general".

He took the unprecedented step of dragging the government to the court after the defence ministry insisted upon treating 1950, as his official year of birth.

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Army chief meets Mukherjee amid age row

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