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Air Chief refuses to comment on Army Chief's decision to move SC

New Delhi, Thu, 19 Jan 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Jan 17 (ANI): Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, on Tuesday efused to comment on the ongoing controversy surrounding the date of birth of Army Chief eneral V.K. Singh.


"No, I don't want to comment on this issue at all," Air Chief Marshal Browne told the media ere.


However, Pavani Parameswara Rao, a senior lawyer, believed the move would have adverse mpact on the discipline of the armed forces.


"If the Army Chief could go to the Supreme Court directly then why not a soldier tomorrow ould go directly, ahead of the Army Chief, to the court and question the decision of the Army hief. In Armed Forces, discipline is very important and it shouldn't appear as if the Army hief and the government are at loggerheads," he said.


Another senior advocate, Raju Ramachandran, maintained that General V.K. Singh should have oved the Armed Forces Tribunal first.


"I would think that the Tribunal would have been the appropriate forum for him to go to but ince a public interest litigation is pending in the Supreme Court, he might have been advised hat he should file this petition in the Supreme Court. But strictly, legally the Armed Forces ribunal would have jurisdiction over matter like this," added Ramachandran.


In an unprecedented move, General V.K. Singh moved the Supreme Court on Monday against he 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 irth, as May 10,1950 instead of May 10,1951 as claimed by him on the basis of his atriculation 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 x-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 overnment that his date of birth was May 10, 1951 and not 1950 as entered on the basis of is application when he entered the National Defence Academy.


According to certain reports, the controversy stemmed from different sets of records in the djutant 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 is year of birth, the military secretary branch that deals with appointments and promotions has 950 in its records.


The Ministry of Defence had earlier rejected Army Chief General V. K. Singh's statutory omplaint 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 ervice 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 aintained, had in his statutory complaint asked the Defence Ministry to consider May 10, 951 as his date of birth.


The Army Chief had earlier filed the statutory complaint with Defence Minister A. K. Antony fter the government issued an order on July 21 in which it said that it will consider May 10, 950 as his date of birth. (ANI)


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