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.