New Delhi: Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on the subject, the Defence Ministry has written to the Adjutant General's (AG) branch of the Army to correct its record to show the year of birth of Army chief Gen V K Singh as 1950 contrary to his stand that he was born one year later.

The letter was issued to the AG's branch last week to correct its record and show May 10, 1950 as the date of birth of Gen Singh, sources said here.

The AG's branch, which is the official record keeper in the service, has maintained Gen Singh's date of birth as May 10, 1951, although the Military Secretary's branch records it as May 10, 1950.

The move appears to be to reconcile the two dates in Army records and is an indication of the tough stance of the government against Gen Singh, who has moved the Supreme Court on his age issue.

The subject will come up for hearing in the apex court on February 3.

In its first order rejecting Army Chief's contention on July 21, the Defence Ministry had asked the AG's branch to record 1950 as Gen Singh's year of birth.

In its July 21 decision, the Defence Ministry had declared the order issued by the Adjutant General (Manpower and Planning) on February 25 directing amendment of the date of birth as May 10, 1951 instead of May 10, 1950 as recorded as "null and void and non est".

Soon after the order was issued by the Ministry, the Army chief had filed a statutory complaint with Defence Minister A K Antony reiterating that his date of birth should be accepted as May 10, 1951.

Army Headquarters had later openly questioned the decision, saying that the date of birth mentioned in his matriculation certificate cannot be ignored.

It had said the Defence Ministry has arrived at its decision on the issue on basis of what it was told by the MS Branch which has no jurisdiction on such issues.

After the Ministry rejected his statutory complaint on December 30, Gen Singh moved the Supreme Court challenging the government's rejection of his claim on his date of birth issue on January 16.

As per the 1950 date of birth, Gen Singh will have to leave office on May 31, this year whereas acceptance of May 10, 1951 would give him an extension of ten months in office.

(Agencies)