New Delhi: Indian Army Chief General Vijay Kumar Singh has filed the Army list in the Supreme Court to support his claim that his date of birth is May 10, 1951. The Supreme Court will hear General Singh's plea on his date of birth on Friday.
Last week, General Singh's petition was adjourned by the Supreme Court till February 10, giving the General and the Central Government more time to resolve the controversy.
The apex court criticised the government's handling of the controversy while directing the Attorney General of India to take instructions from the government on the December 30, 2011 order which fixed General Singh's date of birth as May 10, 1950. The court pointed out that there was no independent evaluation of General Singh's complaint.
The apex court said that the December 30 order relied on Attorney General Vahanvati's opinion given to the government and hence was not correct.
"We are of the prima facie view that decision making process of the government in disposing off General VK Singh's statutory complaint is vitiated. It seems that going to the Armed Forces Tribunal for the General may not be efficacious," the bench of Justices RM Lodha and HL Gokhale observed while pointing out that principles of natural justice were not followed in the matter.
In an unprecedented move General Singh had on January 16, 2012 moved the Supreme Court to resolve the controversy over his date of birth.
There are two sets of General Singh's date of birth in the Army's records leading to a controversy and putting a question mark over when he would retire and the officer succeeding him to lead the 1.13 million strong fighting force.
General Singh contends that May 10, 1951 should be treated as his actual date of birth as it was mentioned in his matriculation certificate but the Defence Ministry has rejected it as May 10, 1950 is the date entered in his Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) form for the National Defence Academy.
The Adjutant Branch, Army's official record keeper, also records May 10, 1951 as General Singh date of birth and the same is mentioned in his Army ID card, driving licence, passport and other service records. Even all his Annual Confidential Reports since 1970 show May 10, 1951 as his date of birth.
But the Military Service Branch has another set of the General's date of birth showing that he was born on May 10, 1950 and this is the date that the Ministry of Defence has been insisting on as being official.