M A I N   N E W S

Army fails to carry out MoD’s order
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 2
A day before the Supreme Court hears the Army Chief’s petition on the age row, sources confirmed that the Adjutant General’s branch — the official record keeper of the Army — has not yet acted on the advice of the Ministry of Defence to reconcile the date of birth (DoB) of General VK Singh.

The ministry on January 23 asked the AG branch to maintain the General’s DoB as May 10, 1950 and not May 10, 1951, as claimed by the Army Chief.

Sources said today the AG Branch has expressed its inability to correct the DoB and asked the MoD how a correction could be made. There is no precedent to correct the DoB when the matter has been pending before the highest court of the land, sources added.

The Army Chief tonight met Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and the chief troubleshooter of the UPA. The Army Chief arrived in civilian clothes and used a private car to travel. The meeting lasted more than an hour at Mukherjee’s office.

With the Army Chief’s petition being listed before the Supreme Court tomorrow, there is hardly any time for the MoD to reply to the AG branch. In case the MoD sees the AG’s move as defiance, the ministry has the authority to haul up officials, who have not carried out its orders.

The latest development may snowball as the MoD in its directive of January 23 asked the AG branch to “strictly” comply with the order dated July 21, 2011, and also sought a compliance report at the earliest.

The letter said, “Now that the statutory complaint stands disposed and the redressal sought by General VK Singh has not been granted…. Gen VK Singh’s officially recognised date of birth will continue to remain May 10, 1950, and there are no grounds for interfering with the impugned order dated July 21, 2011.”

On July 21, 2011, the defence ministry had decided the issue and fixed May 10, 1950, as the Army Chief’s date of birth.





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