Army Chief age row: General Singh's plea to be heard today

General Singh
New Delhi, Feb 3: On the eve of the Supreme Court hearing of his petition on age, Army Chief Gen V K Singh met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Feb 2 who has been informally acting as a trouble-shooter in the controversy.

Gen Singh, dressed in civil clothes, drove to the North Block office of Mukherjee in the evening in a private car, devoid of his security paraphernelia like the escort vehicles. It was not immediately clear as to what exactly transpired at the meeting.

Mukherjee has been informally acting as a trouble-shooter in the controversy on the directions of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The meeting came a day ahead of consideration by the Supreme Court of his petition challenging the government's decision to treat his date of birth as May 10,1950.

He has been maintaining that his date of birth is May 10, 1951. The Army Chief on January 16 took the unprecedented step of dragging the government to the Supreme Court. Making it an issue of his "honour and integrity", Gen Singh filed a writ petition in the apex court after exhausting all statutory options within the Defence Ministry which had recently rejected his contention that he was born in 1951 and not 1950.

The petition challenges the July 21, 2011 order of the Defence Ministry which fixed the date of birth as May 10, 1950 and the December 30, 2011 decision by which his statutory complaint was rejected. He has sought a direction for declaring May 10,1951 as the correct date of birth. If May 10,1950 is treated as his date of birth, Gen Singh will retire on May 31, otherwise he will get a tenure till April next year.


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