NEW DELHI: It was an even battle in the court on Friday; Army Chief General V K Singh withdrew his petition while the Government withdrew its last December 30 order rejecting his complaint. An olive branch too was extended, the government unequivocally expressed faith in the serving Army Chief’s “integrity”, honesty and competence in the Supreme Court.
Following the three-hour long arguments in the apex court, the Army Chief’s lawyer Puneet Bali termed it an “amicable and graceful” resolution of the controversy. “The honour of the General was restored,” he declared.
At the same time the government’s decision determining the Chief’s date of birth as May 10, 1950—the Chief has been contending that is May 10, 1951—was upheld. “We have full faith in you (Singh), we are not doubting your integrity, but the question before me is very limited, about your date of birth mentioned wrong in the records and we are not adjudicating on the fact that what is your date of birth,” a division bench led by Justice R M Lodha said.
While refusing to entertain the chief’s petition seeking reconciliation of the two sets of Army records and reflect his date of birth as May 10, 1951, the apex court held that no prejudice had been done to General Singh and that the government’s decision on the matter will continue.
As the hearing commenced in the morning, Attorney General G E Vahanvati infor­med the court that government has withdrawn its December 30, 2011 order that rejected the General’s statutory complaint on his age. The AG also made it clear that government was sticking to its July 22, 2011 order turning down the Chief’s contention that he was born in 1951.