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'Don't hype Army Chief's age row': Congress

New Delhi, Tue, 17 Jan 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Jan 17 (ANI): A day after Army Chief General V.K. Singh moved the Supreme Court against the government's rejection of his claim on his date of birth, the ruling Congress Party on Tuesday asked the opposition not to sensationalise the issue.


Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi accused the BJP of disserving the nation by using this self-proclaimed, personal matter of the Army Chief for their political gains.


"There is a stand which the honourable Army Chief has been unable to change and whether his stand is right or wrong, you and I are not here to change it. Ultimately both these stands will be tested in the court and decided," said Singhvi.


"That's entirely a matter between a petitioner on a personal issue, which he has himself said is his own issue and I think those in the opposition, in particular, who deliberately try to fish in troubled waters and give it an exaggerated or a larger picture, as if it is affecting the functioning of the ministry or of the army are doing a disservice to the nation," he added.


In an unprecedented move, General V.K. Singh moved the Supreme Court on Monday against the government's rejection of his claim on his date of birth.


General V.K. Singh is believed to have questioned the government's decision to treat his date of birth, as May 10,1950 instead of May 10,1951 as claimed by him on the basis of his matriculation certificate and other documents, in his writ petition filed in the apex court.


Meanwhile, the government earlier in the day filed a caveat in the Supreme Court against any ex-parte order on the petition of Army Chief Gen challenging the decision over his date of birth.


Reports in the media had earlier indicated that General V.K. Singh had written to the Government that his date of birth was May 10, 1951 and not 1950 as entered on the basis of his application when he entered the National Defence Academy.


According to certain reports, the controversy stemmed from different sets of records in the adjutant general and military secretary branches of the Indian Army Headquarters.


While the adjutant general's branch that deals with pay, perks and pensions maintains 1951 as his year of birth, the military secretary branch that deals with appointments and promotions has 1950 in its records.


The Ministry of Defence had earlier rejected Army Chief General V. K. Singh's statutory complaint seeking a correction of his date of birth in the army records.


According to reports, General Singh has been conveyed that that he will have to retire from service on May 31, 2012 on completion of his two-year tenure.


General Singh, who has consistently claimed that he was born in 1951 and not 1950 as maintained, had in his statutory complaint asked the Defence Ministry to consider May 10, 1951 as his date of birth.


The Army Chief had earlier filed the statutory complaint with Defence Minister A. K. Antony after the government issued an order on July 21 in which it said that it will consider May 10, 1950 as his date of birth. (ANI)


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