Army chief says won't move courts on age issue

Gen V K Singh Suspected by the defence ministry of being responsible for the controversy over his age, Army commander-in-chief Gen V K Singh has downplayed his apparent confrontation with the government, and said he has not yet thought of moving the courts on the issue.

Gen Singh is insisting that his date of birth is not 10 May 1950 as some of his records show, but is actually 10 May 1951 as shown in his birth and matriculation certificates.

If his argument is accepted, it would extend his tenure as army chief by a year; and perhaps throw out of gear the government's promotion plans for the top brass.

The defence ministry is firm that the army chief must retire on 31 May 2012.

Earlier there was widespread speculation that after last week's rejection of his plea for changing his official birth date by the defence ministry, Gen Singh would move the courts, because he had already taken legal opinion from four former chief justices.

At the same time, the ministry is confident that its decision on the age row will withstand the scrutiny in the court of law.