New Delhi: On the basis of media reports, Army Chief General V K Singh had levelled the allegation that the Defence Ministry "lacked objectivity" and was "biased" on his age issue, the Defence Ministry has said.

"It is little odd that Chief of Army Staff has chosen to come to a conclusion that the reference made by the Defence Ministry to Attorney General (AG) lacked objectivity, was biased and designed to procure a particular opinion," the Defence Secretary had said in a note sent to Defence Minister
A K Antony in June this year.

The then Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar had made these remarks on the petition submitted by Army Chief to Defence Minister A K Antony on his age issue after the AG had opined that May 10, 1950 should only be considered as his date of birth.

He said the Army Chief had arrived at this conclusion without even going through the reference made to the AG "merely on the basis of the reports appearing in the media and calls made to him by some journalists."

The Defence Secretary said the Army Chief has given his "misgivings" about the first reference made by the Defence Ministry to the AG to seek opinion on his date of birth issue.

"In order to address his concerns about his point of view not being projected properly, it would be best if his petition (submitted to Defence Minister on May 25) along with enclosures is forwarded to the Law Ministry and the AG again," Kumar said in the Ministry noting accessed through RTI.

In the review opinion also, the AG had stuck to his previous view that Gen Singh's date of birth could not be changed to May 10, 1951. If 1951 was accepted, the army chief would have got an extra ten months in office. Based on the opinion given by the AG, the Defence Ministry had rejected Army Chief's contention in its July 22 order.

The Ministry has declared as "null and void and non est" and "unauthorised and illegal" the change in the date of birth to May 10, 1951 in Gen Singh's service records made by a branch of the army in February this year.
Defence Minister A K Antony has also said that Gen Singh's last three appointments were made on the basis of his May 19, 1950 date of birth only and accordingly he had a little over eight months left in Service.

The Adjutant General's branch has now sought clarification from the Ministry on the legal justification of its order and has not yet changed Gen Singh's date of birth in its records.

The Army Chief has also filed a Statutory Complaint to Defence Minister A K Antony against the Ministry decision to reject his contention.

(Agencies)