Indian Army: News & Discussion

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Surya
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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Surya » 10 Feb 2012 20:02

Austin wrote:
Finally all the jurnos who did their job in a fair and professional manner Sandeep Unnithan , Vishnu Som Raj Chengeppa and many others who have put on a fair report when so many were playing dirty games also stands vindicated. Kudos to them.



Well its Austins time to gloat.


Would I believe Katoch or would I believe a hit job by SU


anyway - we deserve what we get in terms of govt, judiciary

more and more army guys are tuning out ...

good luck for the country in the next war.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Sanjay » 10 Feb 2012 20:15

Ok.

Here's something to keep at the forefront of one's mind - what was before the SC was not whether the COAS was maligned by outside forces or that the UPA is protecting the corrupt and condoning corruption.

I hold no brief for the UPA and while I have enormous regard for the COAS, I must suggest that casting aspersions on the SC is not warranted in this case.

What was before it was simply a case of addressing an apparently incorrect birth date.

The consequences of rectifying that incorrect birth date could possibly be an extension of time.

The SC had before it the documents submitted by the COAS and GOI.

In those documents, which appear not to have been disputed, the COAS, when he submitted his application to the UPSC/NDA listed his birth year as 1950.

We also have the COAS's birth certificate which shows his birth year as 1951.

However, we apparently have correspondence showing that, for administrative purposes at least, he accepted 1950 as his birth year in 2008.

Having made that commitment, the SC was faced with a decision in which the following factors needed to be considered:

(1) Was there a gross error on the part of the GOI to use 1950 as his birth year ?

(2) Given the fact that 1951 may well have been the COAS birth year did he suffer any discrimination and/or prejudice as a result of any error ?

(3) Does his apparent acceptance of the birth year as 1950 have an impact on the strength of his petition ?

There is a legal doctrine called the doctrine of election which is well established in all common law jurisdictions:

http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/article ... e-1262.asp

"Law does not permit a person to both approbate and reprobate. This principle is based on the doctrine of election which postulates that no party can accept and reject the same instrument and that "a person cannot say at one time that a transaction is valid and thereby obtain some advantage, to which he could only be entitled on the footing that it is valid, and then turn round and say it is void for the purpose of securing some other advantage"."

If it is the case that the COAS with 1950 as his birth date joined the army, obtained promotions, and in 2008 for a major promotion apparently accepted the said year for his birth it would appear that the SC would have been left with little choice but to dismiss the petition.

We must also make it clear that nowhere does it appear that the COAS suffered any prejudice by virtue of a wrong birth year.

I am going to draw a somewhat unpleasant analogy:

(a) Applying for a job you state that you are 18 when you are in fact 17;
(b) You get the job;
(c) You obtain all possible promotions and benefits from that job;
(d) You reach the highest position in that job;
(e) Shortly before the scheduled retirement you then claim you are in fact 1 year younger and therefore eligible for another year of service

The COAS had emphatically stated that he was not seeking an extension of tenure

However, that was not the issue before the SC.

The issue boils down to the doctrine of election.

Unfortunate but while the SC has deviated to make quasi-political comments in the past, this was a situation where a petition was brought before it seeking specific relief.

If the SC were to deliver a judgement or make an order, it would have to do so on the facts contained in the petition and the response thereto and not on extraneous factors such as UPA corruption.

The SC exercised its discretion and offered the COAS the option of withdrawal which he took.

It is disconcerting to see the SC praised when it delivers anti-UPA decisions (2G scandal) but then pilloried when this happens.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 10 Feb 2012 20:22

^^UPSC doc was corrected within no time and all promotions have been on 1951. NDA, IMA, AG records all show 1951. The DoB has no effect on his seniority to become CoAS. So the only thing that remained was forcing him to accede to 1950 in 2008.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby geeth » 10 Feb 2012 20:32

@sanjay,

Okay, I accept your argument - i.e., When he accepted (even under coersion) his year of birth as 1950, he benefited from that acceptance. Now he turns around and says he was forced to do so. Legally, you are right. But practically, if he had not accepted in 2008 and decided to go on court at that time, he would not have been Army Chief now to protect his honour!

More confused only..Ultimately, it is babu power in the garb of civilian authority, IMO

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Prasad » 10 Feb 2012 20:36

What is this "grossly erronous" business? It is either incorrect or correct. How can there be varying degrees of correctness? We aren't measuring something in the nanometers to be expecting degrees of accuracy. Its a simple birthdate!

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 10 Feb 2012 20:42

Sanjay wrote:Ok.

Here's something to keep at the forefront of one's mind - what was before the SC was not whether the COAS was maligned by outside forces or that the UPA is protecting the corrupt and condoning corruption.

I hold no brief for the UPA and while I have enormous regard for the COAS, I must suggest that casting aspersions on the SC is not warranted in this case.

At least I have been consistent in casting aspersions on the SC. The judicial overreach in our country is only a smokescreen to make it appear that everything is OK. Eg is 2G case itself - where the SC judgement on '2G santion to prosecute case' absolved the PM while censuring his advisors. The judiciary is subservient to the executive as is any other constitutional body in this country.

What was before it was simply a case of addressing an apparently incorrect birth date.

The consequences of rectifying that incorrect birth date could possibly be an extension of time.

The SC had before it the documents submitted by the COAS and GOI.

In those documents, which appear not to have been disputed, the COAS, when he submitted his application to the UPSC/NDA listed his birth year as 1950.

We also have the COAS's birth certificate which shows his birth year as 1951.

However, we apparently have correspondence showing that, for administrative purposes at least, he accepted 1950 as his birth year in 2008.

Having made that commitment, the SC was faced with a decision in which the following factors needed to be considered:

(1) Was there a gross error on the part of the GOI to use 1950 as his birth year ?

(2) Given the fact that 1951 may well have been the COAS birth year did he suffer any discrimination and/or prejudice as a result of any error ?

(3) Does his apparent acceptance of the birth year as 1950 have an impact on the strength of his petition ?


Apparently the acceptances have had a significant impact on the strength(or lack of it) of his petition. VKS should have made this a criminal writ petition from the very beginning. He should have filed an FIR against the alleged conspirators naming them. It was only because he chose middle path of being decent to the establishment and tackling the case as a person aggrieved by a superior's decision ,that has left him as a destitute today.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 10 Feb 2012 20:51

The apathy of judiciary to throes of servicemen and veterans is not unique to this case.
eg, Coming up on 18 Feb is what is called the 'rank pay case'. It is before the same bench as today. Allegedly the origin dates back to 1984. The case had reached finality in 2010, when SC issued its judgment. UoI filed a review petition and since then it is earning date after date, for reasons as pusillanimous as absence of law officer from the UoI. All to deny a few thousands of veterans their rightful due.
For more...
http://www.indianmilitary.info/2010/03/ ... ay-sc.html

VKS is not the lone sufferer.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Sanjay » 10 Feb 2012 21:03

The COAS is still the COAS and is not a destitute.

You cannot ask the SC to rule on some criminal conspiracy without it being placed before the Court.

Basic fact - was the COAS ever prejuiced by 1950? - no.

Did he serve a full term as COAS? - yes.

Was there ever any evidence of conspiracy criminal or otherwise presented to the SC ? - No.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Sachin » 10 Feb 2012 21:04

geeth wrote: Legally, you are right. But practically, if he had not accepted in 2008 and decided to go on court at that time, he would not have been Army Chief now to protect his honour!

And legality is what the courts look into, right? From what I could understand from your statement was that if Gen.VKS had to become COAS one day, he would have to accept the YoB as 1950. But did he not have the option to stick to his guns and say correct YoB is 1951 and the promotions be damned? He did not do that. Now if the part was that he was forced into giving acceptance, he needs to prove that part as well. I don't think so he has stated that he agreed to have YoB as 1950, else x,y and z people would have harmed him or his career in certain ways. So I don't think the court have even considered this aspect of coercion. At present this looks like a case of "changing the goal posts" :(. Agree for being promoted accepting on YoB, but making a complaint when the same date is used as a reference for retirement.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby ramana » 10 Feb 2012 21:09

There is truth and there is justice.

Justice is what the laws allow.

Justice may have gained but truth suffered.

I think there is no merit in continuing the discussion of the DOB issue after the withdrawl of the petitions to SC.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby ManuT » 10 Feb 2012 21:10

my 2 cents

1. If VKS does not think his issue of 'Honor and Intergrity' has not been a fair hearing he can resign. (Govt can also refuse to accept it)

(and I don't think he needs to resign here. If he continues, it brings honorable closure, that you can  work with administrative differences)

2. If GOI thinks the VKS has stepped outside his limits and the Govt has lost faith in him it can ask him to go home.

In either case we can say 'due process' has been followed and at end now.

Typically, I would imagine, the issue raised by VKS is not under question unless raised by an opponent in a chargesheet for example. In this case he raised it himself, IMO, to set the record straight concientiously.

SC allowed VKS to withdraw the case (as it is not a criminal complaint), not a bad option if the intent was to uphold reputations (or maybe was a quid pro quo solution). What would be GOI's part in such a deal? I can't see that. 

I think should come out in a few days.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 10 Feb 2012 21:13

So, if it does not prejudice him the govt can fix his age as it pleases them? Why not 1949 or 1953?

Exactly my point. I am saying VKS "should have made it a criminal petition from the beginning".
Regarding the evidence, i had earlier suggested that VKS stands any chance in this case, only if had gathered enough proof of conspiracy against him.
Better late than never, he should expose this conspiracy. As VKS says, if he did not care about the 10 months of service as much as it is made out to be, he would not care about this 4 months also.
If he chooses not to, then he faces the loss of honour, dignity and credibility.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby RamaY » 10 Feb 2012 21:22

INC is trying to do a reverse coup. It is trying to remove the authority of other power centers - CBI, CEC, CVC, CAG, IAS (15/25 yr performance evaluation) now CoAS. Soon it will be the CJI who will be facing the music, as that is the last standing (even though on its knees) institution.

Posting Opinion. Not pseudo-news in the guise of information

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Sanku » 10 Feb 2012 21:28

Austin wrote:
Sanku wrote:No thanks I have had enough of Su-su. They can keep it in India today.


Exaclty what do you believe in its not IT personal observation but its SC observation.


Actually no. These are not SC observations, if they are, they have to be written on the record as part of judgement, court room discussions are not "observations".

The other option is to wait till SC observation are made public and if news report are to be believed it had its own tough question for the Army Chief.


Though questions mean what exactly? That SC should not ask a party though questions if they are right? That means nothing -- it asked the Govt 10x more harder questions than it did Govt. It still does not mean anything.

What means is only one thing -- did the SC go in the merit of the case and make a decision or did not.

Here it ran away without considering the merits. Sad.

It sad to see the whole Army versus GOI issue had to be fought out this way but finally we have something good coming out of it and Law of Land giving it some Just and Fair meaning to it.

I know you wont agree but lets leave it here.


You still dont get what the real sad issue is, do you. The real sad issue is the fact that SC chickened out and justice was not done.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 10 Feb 2012 21:30

Sachin wrote: Agree for being promoted accepting on YoB, but making a complaint when the same date is used as a reference for retirement.


I do not understand this part. What was the need to make him agree to this YoB of 1950? 1951 was working fine until 2008.

So the court has ruled but side-stepped the real mischief. It did not address the real issue.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Sanku » 10 Feb 2012 21:31

Sanjay wrote:The COAS is still the COAS and is not a destitute..


In his own words, he is being treated worse than what GoI treats Paki Army chief.

So much for that above assertion.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Sanku » 10 Feb 2012 21:34

And oh yes, Gen V K Singh must resign. No two things about it.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby ldev » 10 Feb 2012 21:40

viv wrote:
I do not understand this part. What was the need to make him agree to this YoB of 1950? 1951 was working fine until 2008.


No, the Military Secretary's office which decides on promotions and postings, always had 1950 as the birth date, ever since he was commissioned in the Indian Army. So during his entire career, he was promoted based on a 1950 birthdate. And as Sanjay points out, he suffered no prejudice by having 1950 as a birth date in terms of his promotions. 1951 may very well be his correct date of birth, but for the purposes of this petition, it is irrelevant. That IMO is what the Supreme Court is saying.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 10 Feb 2012 21:44

@Idev - Regarding promotions with 1950 as DoB.
I have already posted in contrary and placed something on this forum to prove. Can you disprove that or qualify your statement with any proof?

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby ldev » 10 Feb 2012 21:49

Nelson,

The series of articles posted by Chengappa points out the differing dates of birth in the AG and the MS branches and how they were entered there. You know the responsibilities of the AG branch you also know the responsibilites of the MS branch. If you can point out that General Singh's promotions were based on some other factor other than the MS records, please do so.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 10 Feb 2012 21:50

nelson wrote:^ Funny, there is a letter signed by the Military Secretary who retired few days back, which says that the promotions to the ranks of Brig and then to Maj Gen and then to Lt Gen were also done on the basis of xx May 1951 as DoB. Ah, here it is...
http://ajaishukla.blogspot.in/search?q=military+secretary+nair
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--b_Lo1lzxPI/T ... etter1.jpg


@Idev - FYI

You will know Raj Chengappa's rationale behind his voluminous posts when he gets his RS nomination soon.
Last edited by nelson on 10 Feb 2012 21:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Sanku » 10 Feb 2012 21:50

nelson wrote: Regarding promotions with 1950 as DoB.
I have already posted in contrary and placed something on this forum to prove. Can you disprove that or qualify your statement with any proof?


Nelson-ji there are some posters, during 9 2 11 debate, asserted quite confidently that India will have 200 Nuclear reactors by 2020, which was later "modified" to 2050 then to "a high nuclear energy use in suitable time"

all very confidently.

JFYI.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby chaanakya » 10 Feb 2012 21:51

viv wrote:
Sachin wrote: Agree for being promoted accepting on YoB, but making a complaint when the same date is used as a reference for retirement.


I do not understand this part. What was the need to make him agree to this YoB of 1950? 1951 was working fine until 2008.

So the court has ruled but side-stepped the real mischief. It did not address the real issue.

Court said......... dont wash dirty linen in public.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 10 Feb 2012 21:52

ldev wrote:
viv wrote:
I do not understand this part. What was the need to make him agree to this YoB of 1950? 1951 was working fine until 2008.


No, the Military Secretary's office which decides on promotions and postings, always had 1950 as the birth date, ever since he was commissioned in the Indian Army. So during his entire career, he was promoted based on a 1950 birthdate. And as Sanjay points out, he suffered no prejudice by having 1950 as a birth date in terms of his promotions. 1951 may very well be his correct date of birth, but for the purposes of this petition, it is irrelevant. That IMO is what the Supreme Court is saying.


It is the AG which is the record keeper. Birth date is not a criteria for promotion (any promotion) other than when one can join the force and when one retires. Forcing an earlier birth date forces an earlier retirement. That was the issue and the cause for speculation that it was done to favour another.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Sanku » 10 Feb 2012 21:55

Gen VKS was not expecting SC to chicken out and not decide on date of birth without making a criminal case and tenure issue.

SC thought there was no need to get into that without any real impact.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby chaanakya » 10 Feb 2012 21:57

Sanku wrote: . The real sad issue is the fact that SC chickened out and justice was not done.

Sad indeed. Issue not decided on merit but like katta panchayat.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby negi » 10 Feb 2012 22:01

At times I miss not being born during an era where everything was settled by a sword or a duel this politically correct BS those bench warmers in SC have been indulging for decades is simply BS.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 10 Feb 2012 22:03

nelson wrote:I hear today's order of SC in Army Chief age row. My feeling is the 'katta panchayat' in "Chinna Kounder" would have done a more able job.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CLYjm6eTwg

No katta panchayat is better.
:)

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 10 Feb 2012 22:09

The one single thread that enjoins the unfortunate issues over past five years, from Nuclear deal to Sharm-el-Shaik to 2G to Antrix/ISRO to Age Scam, is MMS. It may not be the person, but the post he holds. Combined with this, the demonstrated impotency of the legislature and the smokescreen of judiciary, the executive is constantly trying to usurp the powers from institutions that can protect the country. The "age row/scam" is one such attempt.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby chaanakya » 10 Feb 2012 22:16

nelson wrote:

You will know Raj Chengappa's rationale behind his voluminous posts when he gets his RS nomination soon.


do Keep watch on who becomes chairman NHRC or Telecom Appellate Tribunals or such other bodies.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby ldev » 10 Feb 2012 22:25

Nelson,

Is that letter authentic? To whom was it addressed? Was it submitted by VKS to the Supreme Court? Debating on this forum we do not have all the documents that were submitted by both sides to the SC. If VKS believes that he is doing it for principled reasons, why did he withdraw his petition?

See, if during his earlier promotions say 2006, he had said," I refuse this promotion because by accepting it based on a 1950 birthdate, I will be cheated out of 1 year of legitimate service with the IA", and refused to sign the undertakings, he did, that would have been a principled stand. After all, what further damage can the Army cause you, when you yourself have refused a promotion. They cannot demote you for taking an upright principled stand. And at that point of time, there was no certainty that he would become Army Chief. He should have stood his ground.

In summary, this whole issue has been handled very badly and does not cast either VKS, Anthony, or the MOD in a favorable light.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 10 Feb 2012 22:33

ldev wrote:Nelson,

Is that letter authentic? To whom was it addressed? Was it submitted by VKS to the Supreme Court? Debating on this forum we do not have all the documents that were submitted by both sides to the SC. If VKS believes that he is doing it for principled reasons, why did he withdraw his petition?

You can clearly see that it was addressed to Defence Secretary by the previous Military Secretary. I can not produce an ink-signed hard copy but have sufficient reasons to believe its authenticity.
See, if during his earlier promotions say 2006, he had said," I refuse this promotion because by accepting it based on a 1950 birthdate, I will be cheated out of 1 year of legitimate service with the IA", and refused to sign the undertakings, he did, that would have been a principled stand. After all, what further damage can the Army cause you, when you yourself have refused a promotion. They cannot demote you for taking an upright principled stand. And at that point of time, there was no certainty that he would become Army Chief. He should have stood his ground.
...

We keep getting back to the same point again and again. Why don't you scroll back a few pages and look for the 'reason'?

What we do, I suggest, is wait and watch VKS next move. VKS would remember Nana Patekar's words in the film 'Prahaar' in which he played himself (VKS)
" A soldier never quits until his death"
Last edited by nelson on 10 Feb 2012 22:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 10 Feb 2012 22:36

MoD now goes into overdrive.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-new ... 09688.aspx

The ensuing actions of the govt will make it 'nude'. To pre-empt resignation of VKS from scuttling their succession plan, they will try and announce the next COAS name before Monday office hours.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 10 Feb 2012 22:45


ramana
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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby ramana » 10 Feb 2012 23:03

One good thing with the SC action is it keeps the UPA viable.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby SagarAg » 11 Feb 2012 00:03

My already dwindling trust in our Judiciary hit a new low after this fiasco. :cry:

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Nikhil T » 11 Feb 2012 00:16

Sanku wrote:
Sanjay wrote:The COAS is still the COAS and is not a destitute..


In his own words, he is being treated worse than what GoI treats Paki Army chief.

So much for that above assertion.


How the hell can you put words in his mouth? This is getting ridiculous - in your effort to vouch for the Army Chief you've contracted the 'Holier that the Pope' syndrome.

Clearly, the "treated like a Paki army chief" statement was a DDM since the Indian Army HQ itself denied it.
Indian Army denies VK Singh's 'Pakistan Army' comments

In a clarification issued in Delhi, the Indian Army headquarters said the media report in this regard was "factually incorrect" and has been made "to sensationalise" a routine meeting.


You disregard whatever is written against the good General's legal case and jump to accept anything that other DDMs write in favor of his case, even when the General himself has disregarded those report himself. Strange.

After the first hearing in the case when GoI was being castigated, the same people were singing praises for the SC, no one said a word against the judges. The legal aspect of the case has been settled. If anyone has a problem, go file a review petition in the court or else stop shouting hoarse here that "SC skirted the issue" or that "justice wasn't done". It was done, just that you don't like it.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby ASPuar » 11 Feb 2012 00:38

chaanakya wrote:
nelson wrote:

You will know Raj Chengappa's rationale behind his voluminous posts when he gets his RS nomination soon.


do Keep watch on who becomes chairman NHRC or Telecom Appellate Tribunals or such other bodies.


Chaanakya, I would not have dared to say it myself, but you are right, as a matter of general interest for a citizen, to know more about important institutions of the country, one should keep a watch by all means.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 11 Feb 2012 00:44

Nikhil T wrote:...
After the first hearing in the case when GoI was being castigated, the same people were singing praises for the SC, no one said a word against the judges. The legal aspect of the case has been settled. If anyone has a problem, go file a review petition in the court or else stop shouting hoarse here that "SC skirted the issue" or that "justice wasn't done". It was done, just that you don't like it.


There would be no review petition, since there was no judgment. The one who has problem will make his move. Give him the weekend's time.

It is my fundamental right to critique some thing that is in public domain. SC orders are no exception.
Last edited by nelson on 11 Feb 2012 00:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby eklavya » 11 Feb 2012 00:47

This article in the IE seems the most balanced of the lot

SC brokers peace, General backs down
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sc-br ... n/910570/0

THANKS to give and take by both sides nudged along by a Supreme Court — that blended both diplomacy and law — curtains were drawn today on the legal controversy over the Army Chief General Vijay Kumar Singh’s date of birth.
The bench disposed of his petition after the General said that he did not want to press his case for a final determination on whether he was born in 1950 or 1951. This came after the government withdrew its December 30, 2011 order rejecting his statutory complaint and gave repeated assurances that at no point did it question the integrity of the “graceful soldier”.

Speaking to The Indian Express this evening, General Singh said: “The Supreme Court has given its verdict. And like every democratic citizen of this country, I hold the court in the highest regard. It has upheld my integrity and honour while asking the government to withdraw the December 30 order, against which I had gone to the court. I thank the hon’ble Supreme Court.”

A bench of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale struck a conciliatory chord that led the government to assure that it had contested Singh’s petition only as a “matter of principle.” Attorney General G E Vahanvati went to the extent of writing down the government’s assurance and hand it over to the bench, which recorded the exact intent in its final written order.

The court made it plain that its power of judicial review under the extraordinary jurisdiction of Article 32 of the Constitution was only confined to the “recognition of age as per the service records” and not unearth the “actual age” of the Army Chief.

It pointed that the Army List — which Singh challenged for “discrepancies” — records Singh’s year of birth as 1950, and it was a vital document, baptised by a Presidential Order. Secondly, the Bench observed that there was no evidence to suggest that the UPSC records were later amended to record Singh’s date of birth as 1951 and not 1950. He had admitted in his petition to have “inadvertently” written 1950 as his birth year in his NDA application form as a boy of 14.

While the court referred to the “pain” of having two dates of birth recorded, it said that Singh had accepted — in letters written in 2008 and in 2009 — his date of birth as May 10, 1950. And that he could not now go back on his “commitment”. The court also pointed to how he received three promotions to his final appointment as Chief on these acceptances.

“Were you resisting? You had given them the final call to record your date of birth. This is stated, re-stated and reiterated by you.” Justice Lodha asked the Chief’s counsel and senior advocate, U U Lalit.

Said Justice Lodha: “Why do you want at this pinnacle to wreck this litigation? We have full faith in you to defend this country. Why do you want to re-open all this now? We understand the pain in your heart of having your date of birth not being corrected and recorded as 1951, but ultimately you decided to leave it to the authorities and this decision of yours was a well-thought of one, and not taken in a rush of blood. And you have respected your commitment repeatedly. The two letters in 2008 and one letter in November 2009 is still relevant.”

“We respect your pain,” Justice Lodha said. “I can understand if you have been harassed or you have suffered by the government decision. But you have achieved, you have got what a person aspires for in the army. Why should you, having reached there, having given the commitments repeatedly. why this mess now?

“Very unfortunate,” Justice Gokhale agreed.

“Perhaps I am being looked at by some people who say that this General is lying,” Lalit responded after a moment’s pause.

“No, no, you have been honest, candid. But in January 2008, you left it to the authorities to take a final call. You said you will abide by their decision. If they have taken a decision you must honour the commitment. This (May 10, 1950) may not be the actual date of birth, but the dispute before us is not that, it is only regarding the recognition of date of birth according to your official records. Remember, service is governed by rules and the recognised date does not suffer any perversity or error as agitated under our extraordinary jurisdiction. That is our prima facie view,” Justice Lodha said.

“Yes, no prejudice was done to you,” Justice Gokhale echoed.


“And still they (the Union of India) have faith in you. I fail to understand how by us recording your date of birth as May 10, 1951 and with you retiring on May 31, 2012 it will help you,” Justice Lodha observed.

“The idea of this petition is not to stick to office. As counsel I cannot say certain things.” Lalit hinted at other reasons for his agitation.

To this, Justice Lodha shot back: “I will not use the expression dirty linen washed in public. But if it has come to such a stage, you can wash. But we thought that both parties, being dignified.”

The morning session, which went well into the lunch break, ended with Justice Lodha advising the General that “wise are those who move with the wind”.

“As Chief you continue to serve the country as you have done for the last 38 years. This verdict should not come in the way of your duty. For us it is that a litigant has come and the case decided,” Justice Lodha said, giving time for Lalit to take instructions from his client.

“In any other matter we would not have spared two minutes. We thought that this is not a matter which should be left to a Tribunal, that we should hear it ourselves,” Justice Lodha said.

At 2 pm, when the Bench assembled, Lalit got up with a recommendation that at least the civil authorities should accept year of birth as 1951 to which the court said it could not make a pronouncement to that extent as the case was confined to the date as per the service records and no more.

With Lalit agreeing to not press the matter any further, the court set out to dictate the order, remarking “judges do what other avoid to do”.

In the order, it said: “As a matter of fact, the question before us in this writ petition is not about the determination of the actual date of birth, but it concerns the recognition of a particular date of birth of the petitioner (Singh) by the Respondent (Union of India) in the official service records”.

In the next and final paragraph, the court concluded that “in view of the statement made by the Attorney General and the limited controversy in the petition as indicated above, senior advocate UU Lalit for the petitioner does not wish to press the matter further.”


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