The row over Army Chief General V.K. Singh’s date of birth is not affecting the working relationship between the armed forces and the Defence Ministry in anyway, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said on Monday.
“No, why should... I mean why do you have these doubts,” Admiral Verma -- the senior most serving officer among the three services -- told reporters on the sidelines of an NCC event in New Delhi.
The Navy Chief, who is also the Chairman, Chiefs of Staffs Committee (COSC), said this when asked if the controversy over Gen Singh’s age issue was affecting working relationship of the armed forces and the Defence Ministry.
Asked whether Gen Singh had discussed the issue with him, Admiral Verma refused to comment saying, “Army Chief himself has made a statement to say that it’s a personal matter which he is pursuing as he deems fits.”
The Army Chief has two sets of date of birth in official records. While the Adjutant General’s branch records it to be May 10, 1951, the Military Secretary branch has May 10, 1950 in its data.
On December 30, the Defence Ministry had turned down Gen Singh’s plea to change his date of birth to May 10, 1951 which would have given him an extra ten months in office.
The Defence Ministry had dismissed the Army Chief’s plea twice on basis of three opinions given by the Attorney General.