General Vijay Kumar Singh’s filed petition to resolve the issue of his Date Of Birth would be heard by the Supreme Court today and this is the first time an army chief has sued the government. Before the Court Session started the General had a meeting with Senior Leader of Congress, Pranab Mukherjee. It was anticipated that the meeting was to settle down the matter out of court.
The reason of dispute is two sets of records held in two branches of the army headquarters.The army chief, though, claiming he was born in May 10th,1951 as per his matriculation certificate – which is considered legal document to establish a proof of age. His complaint is that his age records were never corrected by different army branches and that the documents carrying the wrong year of birth should have been verified with the matriculation certificate. He admits a mistake made in filling up the UPSC form. The government however considered May 10th, 1950 as his date of birth on the basis of UPSC form and claims to have several other documents which can prove General’s year of Birth as 1950. The government also claims that General Singh could not seek any change in records after two years as per rules and this enough reason against General’s claim to consider 1951 as his year of birth now.
Whatever the court’s decision may be , one thing is clear that there are severe flaws in maintainance of records by the Indian army which came into limelight , thanks to the dispute. How come contradictory records were being maintained by the army for so long and no one bothered reconciling it. It was only when General raised the dispute, was it exposed. Now , what is the guarantee that this is the only case and in future no other army officer would highlight similar issues?