New Delhi, Feb 10 (ANI): The Ministry of Defence has withdrawn its December 30, 2011 order rejecting Army Chief General V K Singh's statutory complaint about correcting his date of birth.
The latest development comes in the wake of a crucial hearing on the army chief's age row in the Supreme Court today.
Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati informed the apex court about the government's decision. The hearing in the case is still on in the apex court.
General Singh had earlier placed additional documents before the Supreme Court to support his case for restoring his date of birth as May 10, 1951. he documents that were filed on Wednesday relate to army rules on commissioning of officers.
The fresh documents were filed two days ahead of the crucial hearing on the petition filed by General Singh seeking to set aside two orders rejecting his plea.
The Supreme Court had earlier on February 3 deferred the hearing in the ongoing standoff between the Army Chief and the government over the former's age till February 10.
The apex court, which was hearing a petition by General Singh, questioned the manner in which the complaint about his age was rejected by the Defence Ministry in December last year.
The court has asked the government whether it would withdraw this order since the decision-making process in rejecting the complaint was vitiated.
The court also referred to the Attorney General's role in the matter and wanted to know how an officer who gave an opinion against the Army Chief in the first instance could also be involved in deciding on his complaint on the age issue.
General 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.
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'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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