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SC to hear PIL on Army Chief’s age today
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 19
The Supreme Court will hear tomorrow a PIL filed by an association of ex-servicemen from the Army on the controversy over Army Chief Gen VK Singh’s age. The PIL has sought quashing of the government order declaring Gen Singh’s date of birth as May 10, 1950.

The PIL has been listed before a three-member Bench comprising Chief Justice SH Kapadia and Justices AK Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar. The government order was contrary to the consistent stand taken by Gen VK Singh that his DOB was May 10, 1951 and “backed by his matriculation certificate which is the only authentic document which can be taken into consideration for establishing the DoB of a person,” the Grenadiers Association (Rohtak Chapter) has contended in the petition.

The government had taken his DoB as 1950 on the basis of the age mentioned on the admission form to the National Defence Academy in 1966, but this was subject to correction after submission of the matriculation certificate, the petition said.

Uncertainty over the tenure of the Army Chief would affect the capability, strength and morale of the forces as a whole and adversely affect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, the association argued.

The government order was contrary to the opinions rendered by four former Chief Justices of India - JS Verma, RC Lahoti, GB Patnaik and VN Khare - according to which the DoB on the school-leaving certificate was to be taken as authentic, it said.

Gen VK Singh has also challenged the government order in a separate petition filed earlier this week. However, it is not known when this would be listed for hearing.

Meanwhile, Gen Singh, in his 68-page petition challenging the government’s decision, has told the Supreme Court that he was treated by the government in a manner which reflects total lack of procedure and principles of natural justice in deciding his age.

(With PTI inputs)





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