New Delhi: The controversy over Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh’s age has reached Defence Minister’s office, as the issue is likely to affect the line of succession in the Indian Army.

According to the documents and details available with Dainik Jagran, all the records hold Singh’s Date of Birth (DoB) as May 10, 1951. The entire service record of VK Singh documents his date of birth as May 10, 1951.

The documents of Adjutant General’s branch MP (5/6) also record Singh’s birth date in 1951, which was based on the records made available from UPSC when he was commissioned in the Indian Army.  The records of Singh’s unit - second Rajput Regiment - also show his DoB in 1951.

Besides it, the check list, when he completed his 20 years of his service on November 30, 1990, shows the same date of birth.

The records sent to the Defence Ministry also include the report of General SR Ghosh, Additional Director, Manpower and planning, which clearly suggest that ever since Singh was commissioned into the Indian Army in 1970, his DoB has always been recorded as May 10, 1951.

However, two departments in the Army headquarters show difference in DoB of General VK Singh. While the Adjutant General department shows the DoB of Singh to be 1951, the records of Military Secretary's office register his DoB as May 10, 1950.

Meanwhile, the Law Ministry has also confirmed that General’s school leaving certificate with his DoB as May 10, 1951, is a bonafide document.

Although the issue has reached before Defence Minister AK Antony, it will be a difficult task for him to do justice with the matter.

Sources doubt whether the decision would be acceptable to the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet or not, as several contradictory documents have surfaced.

According to the terms of his appointment, Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh will serve for two years or till he is 62, whichever is earlier.

In case of his retirement in June 2012, Eastern Army Commander Lt General Bikram Singh will emerges as the senior most and in line to be the Chief. If Gen VK Singh’s term is extended by a year, then Lt General Parnaik could be the successor.

The discrepancy came to fore when Lt General Avadhesh Prakash, who is awaiting court martial after an Army Court of Inquiry indicted him for influencing junior officers, was the Military Secretary.

A Court of Inquiry was ordered by General VK Singh when he was the Army Commander before taking over as the Chief on March 31, 2010. It was presided over by Lt General Parnaik.

JPN/Bureau