SC upholds govt decision on army chief’s age

The court held that no prejudice was done to General VK Singh and the government decision on his date of birth will continue to be there. In view of this, Gen Singh will have to retire on 31st May this year

The court held that no prejudice was done to General VK Singh and the government decision on his date of birth will continue to be there. In view of this, Gen Singh will have to retire on 31st May this year

New Delhi: In a setback to India’s army chief General VK Singh, the Supreme Court Friday upheld the government’s decision on his age issue and said he cannot resile on his commitment accepting the date of birth as 10 May 1950, forcing him to withdraw his petition, reports PTI.

The apex court said it was not in favour of entertaining Gen Singh’s petition that his date of birth should be treated in official records as 10 May 1951 and gave him option of withdrawing it.

The court held that no prejudice was done to Gen Singh and the government decision on his date of birth will continue to be there. In view of this, Gen Singh will have to retire on 31st May this year.

The apex court noted that the government has full faith in him and that the court wanted to ensure that he continues to work as the army chief as he has been doing.

Gen Singh has to abide by his commitment and honour his letters of 2008 and 2009 accepting the date of birth as 10 May 1950, the court said during over two-hour long hearing in a packed court room.

Finally, Gen Singh withdrew his petition when the court hearing resumed at 2pm after the lunch recess.

Earlier, at the start of the hearing, attorney general GE Vahanvati informed the court that government has withdrawn its 30 December 2011 order rejecting Gen Singh’s statutory complaint on his age issue.

At the same time, Mr Vahanvati made it clear that the government stands by its decision of July last year to treat his date of birth as 10 May 1950.

Posing tough questions to Gen Singh as to why he did not get the records corrected, a bench headed by justice RM Lodha said the recognition of his date of birth as 10 May 1950 by the Army does not suffer from perversity and was not grossly erroneous.

It said that all documents at threshold when Gen Singh joined Indian Military Academy and National Defence Academy contain the date of birth as 10 May 1950.

The Supreme Court bench, also comprising justice HL Gokhale, said Gen Singh has to abide by his commitment and honour his letters of 2008 and 2009 in which he had accepted his date of birth as 10 May 1950.

The court told Gen Singh that having given his commitment and assurance of abiding by the government decision, he cannot resile.

It said that recognition of Gen Singh’s date of birth as 10 May 1950 by Army does not suffer from perversity and is not grossly erroneous.

The government has full faith in him being the army chief and no prejudice was done to him, the court said, while observing that being the army chief, Gen Singh has reached the highest position which any officer aspires.

The apex court observed that Gen Singh’s writ petition was not for determination of date of birth but for recognition of date of birth in the official records.

The army chief faced further disappointment with the court refusing his plea that the government order on his date of birth as 10 May 1950 be restricted only to service record.

After Gen Singh withdrew his petition, the court declared it as disposed off as withdrawn.

Mr Vahanvati earlier made it clear that government was sticking to its 21 and 22 July 2011 order turning down Gen Singh’s contention that he was born in 1951.

He told the apex court that the government and ‘raksha mantri’ has full faith and confidence in Gen Singh to lead the Army.

Emerging from the court, the Army Chief’s counsel Puneet Bali said it was victory of both sides as the matter has been resolved amicably.

“Our petition was not for extension of service (of Gen Singh) but a matter of honour and integrity of the general,” he told reporters, adding “we are satisfied that his honour and integrity has been restored”.

The court also said that the primary record for Gen Singh’s date of birth was with UPSC which never corrected it.

“If they (UPSC) don't do, what do you do?” the bench asked senior advocate UU Lalit who is appearing for Gen Singh.

As the hearing began, the bench wanted to know from the attorney general as to what instructions he has about the 30th December order.

The attorney general responded saying that the second part of the order is treated as withdrawn.

On that the bench said, “you are withdrawing the order (of 30th December)?" The attorney general said that “30th December order goes but 21st and 22nd July stands”.

When the AG informed that the 30th December order has been withdrawn, the bench said “what was troubling us will not stand before us”.

Solicitor general Rohinton Nariman cited three letters of Gen Singh to say that he has been unequivocally given his personal rights.

The court on 3rd February had given an option to the government to ‘withdraw’ its 30th December order rejecting his statutory complaint, saying it was ‘vitiated’.

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COMMENTS

SunJan

5 years ago

Perfect decision by the SC for such low down tactics by a respected General.
Those trying to mis-use the unaligned systems in the services should beware.
High time for the Services to align and link all their systems into one and root out other dob or other duplications.

REPLY

SunJan

In Reply to SunJan 5 years ago

to add, this is a good opportunity for the General to initiate a project to align the disparate systems, before he leaves the service.

P M Ravindran

5 years ago

Writing in the Mathrubhumi (a Malayalam daily) of 10 Nov 2011 (Vidhi prathilomakaram thanne), Adv Kaleeswaram Raj had stated that an extra constitutional, unannounced and invisible emergency is being imposed through our courts and civil society has to be alert to this and react effectively.

W are seeing for ourselves how the courts are unabashedly and with impunity turning natural justice and even established practices on its head.

Anyhow, I have the satisfaction of seeing my stand vindicated. For details please see my blog ''WILL THE ARMY CHIEF GET JUSTICE?' at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.com/2012/...

My only request to the youth aspiring to serve the nation through its armed forces is that they should know that this is what is supposed to pass off for justice even for the Army Chief! You can well imagine what can happen to the les miserables! Do you still have it in you to serve in a slave army? And the benefit of whose sacrifices will be enjoyed by, not the public, but by the thugs, scoundrels and traitors in offices of authority?

P M Ravindran

5 years ago

I stand vidicated! Please see my blog 'WILL THE ARMY CHIEF GET JUSTICE?' at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.com/2012/...

My foot, if this is what justice in our courts mean!

Vinay Joshi

5 years ago

In India Govt. decides Army Chief's age! In PAK the Army Chief decides the Govt's age!?

The apex court has not clarified in toto.

As per the apex court order a person can have two DoB's - one for the services record & as claimed by the petitioner for his own personal docs viz, passport, income tax et al! Right!

Regards,

Analjit Singh appointed Vodafone India Chairman

“Singh knows our business well:” Mr Nick Read, CEO, Vodafone’s Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific region.

Telecom major Vodafone has appointed Max India founder, Mr Analjit Singh, as the non-executive chairman of its India operations. The appointment is effective 16 February 2012, following formal approval from the board of Vodafone India.

Mr Singh, a leading industry figure, is the founder and chairman of Max India, as well as, its subsidiaries like Max New York Life Insurance Company, Max Healthcare Institute and Max Bupa Health Insurance Company.

“Analjit has been a long-standing, reliable and trustworthy partner in India,” Vodafone Group chief executive officer, Mr Vittorio Colao, said in a statement.

Mr Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone’s Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific region, said: “Singh knows our business well, having been the founder and chairman of Max Telecom, the business which has grown to become Vodafone India with nearly 150 million customers.”

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Tata Motors hikes prices by Rs12,000

“The high input costs have been impacting us for quite some time. We have decided to pass on some burden to our customers:” Tata Motors

Tata Motors said that it has increased the prices of its passenger vehicles, except small car Nano and premium crossover Aria, by up to Rs12,000 to mitigate the impact of high input costs. The company said the price hike has been with effect from 9 February 2012 across the country.

“The high input costs have been impacting us for quite some time. We have decided to pass on some burden to our customers. The quantum of the hike will vary between Rs7,000 and Rs12,000 depending on the model,” a company spokesperson told PTI.

Last month, other passenger vehicle majors like Maruti Suzuki and General Motors increased the prices of their various models by up to Rs17,000 to offset the rising input costs and the impact of currency fluctuation.

Maruti Suzuki India hiked the prices of its vehicles, except for entry-level sedan DZire, by between 0.3% and 3.4%. This translated into a minimum increase of Rs2,400 on the SX4 sedan and a maximum of Rs17,000 on the diesel variant of its Swift hatchback.

Similarly, General Motors India also increased the product prices by between 0.5% and 1.75% for models including the Spark, Beat, Cruze and Tavera, translating into an increase ranging from Rs3,000 to Rs15,000.

GM India, however, left the prices of its Aveo, Aveo UVA, Optra and Captiva SUV models unchanged.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor had also hiked the prices of its different models, including the Liva and Etios, between 0.75% and 3% from 1 January 2012 onwards. Mahindra & Mahindra increased the prices of its latest SUV, the XUV500, by up to Rs55,000.

Hyundai Motor India, which had in December 2011 said it would increase the prices of its vehicles by 1.5-2% from this year, however, has not taken the step as yet.

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