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Army denies chief's 'Pakistan army chief' remarks
The Indian Army Tuesday officially denied that its chief, General VK Singh, had alluded to the defence ministry's handling of his age row "as though he was Pakistan's army chief" in a meeting with Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma.
In a clarification issued in New Delhi, the Indian Army headquarters said the media report in this regard was "factually incorrect" and has been made "to sensationalise" a routine meeting.
"With reference to the media report, it is clarified that the report is factually incorrect and has been made to sensationalize a routine meeting," the clarification issued by the army spokesperson's office said here.
The report had claimed that Gen. Singh told Sharma during a one-on-one meeting that he was being treated by the ministry as if he was the Pakistan army chief and that he felt humiliated by the bureaucrats in the ministry.
The age row has its genesis in the two different sets of records maintained by two different branches of the army headquarters that deal with personnel matters. While the Adjutant General's branch, which is the official record keepers dealing with pay and perks, has 1951 as the army chief's year of birth, the Military Secretary branch that handles postings and promotions has 1950 as his year of birth.
The issue first came up in 2006, when Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee was the defence minister, even as the government was considering Gen. Singh's name for promotion as a corps commander. Again, in 2008, when his name came up for promotion as army commander, the age issue once again reared its head.
On both occasions, the government maintained 1950 as the year of birth and accorded its approval for his promotion.
With these as the basis, Antony and the defence ministry has rejected a couple of times rejected Gen. Singh's request for reconciling records to reflect 1951 as the year of birth.
As the army chief has now exhausted all options that are available for him to get his grievance redressed within the service, he has the option of either going to the Armed Forces Tribunal or the Supreme Court with his plea.
Source: Hindustan Times