Indian Army: News & Discussion

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Surya
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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Surya » 12 Feb 2012 23:12

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anirban_aim
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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby anirban_aim » 12 Feb 2012 23:18

Age row: VK Singh 'harassed' brigadier for not changing DoB

http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/NAT-TOP-age-row-vk-singh-harassed-brigadier-for-not-changing-dob-2850426.html

The Empire Strikes back!!! It might lie low sometimes, but it does not forget and it never ever forgives.....

Trouble seems unending for Army Chief General VK Singh, who lost his age battle in the Supreme Court on Friday


The Chandigarh Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) is hearing a case where serving Major General TS Handa has accused Gen Singh of spoiling his annual confidential reports as he did not accede to his demand of changing his date of birth when he was the deputy military secretary.


He has alleged that Gen Singh believes that he is responsible for not amending his DoB and took deliberate actions to dent his career progression.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby chaanakya » 12 Feb 2012 23:20

shiv wrote:

Fair enough. Why did he bring up the succession conspiracy then? He was right all along even without bringing up that complication which would weaken his case.


chaanakya wrote:Where did he bring it up?? at least not in affidavit to SC or anywhere else. Please enlighten me.


shiv wrote:So VK Singh did not bring it up. The succession plan has nothing to do with the VK Singh's case but is being brought up as a bogey here. They are two separate issues. Why are people on BRF connecting up the two issues? And how does bringing up this issue unconnected with VK Singhs case not qualify as shifting the goalpost?
I think shifting goalpost is 1950 and 1951. Not the discussion on succession plan, that is what remains of the case. I don't think VKS need resign just to thwart succession plan. Govt nned to explain to he public in the light of he facts brought in public domain. Aa far as VKS case for himself is concerned , its over unless Govt takes up the statutory complaint which becomes pending again and passes some order.

The government may be wrong in planing someone's succession, but how does that translate into VK Singh being dishonored when he has been elevated to the highest rank in the army out of turn and he has accepted that? How does the Supreme court become untrustworthy and be accused of not going into the merits of the case as has been stated on this thread? The Supreme court could have insulted the general with a verdict given what has been said so far.

No , he was not elevated out of turn.

SC does no become untrustworthy but individual incumbents do like KGB

SC is supposed to go into merits of the case. Its undelivered judgement could not be termed as insult or praise. It was for VKS to decide after that judgement.

As I alluded earlier, Justice Shah did not move with the wind and rest is history.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby anirban_aim » 12 Feb 2012 23:22

I have but one question.......

If Bikram Singh becomes chief, what happens to Handa ji? On the fast track upwards????

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Badar » 12 Feb 2012 23:24

chaanakya wrote:Actually there could be no legal basis for such a plan. If you select one and announce him, you take hell of risk. Besides Constitution does not permit such a plan. All the time you need a panel of equally meritorious and senior people from whom you can select COAS, need not be senior most, though supercession needs a lot more explanation which UPA II could ill afford.

Could you please elaborate why this would be illegal or unconstitutional? I see no reason why it should be so.

Also why did AG bring this subject up then? If if the plan is verboten then why isn't he and parties to it end up being lynched for it? I note that the Opposition is not making much more than proforma "tsk tsk GoI handled this badly" noise.

Sinister in the way it seeks to edge out someone who is qualified and push in someone who would have retired in normal course though being equally qualified. It limits the options for others as well.

This falls firmly in the realm of favoritism, and not an argument against the line per se.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 12 Feb 2012 23:30

shiv wrote:So VK Singh did not bring it up. The succession plan has nothing to do with the VK Singh's case but is being brought up as a bogey here. They are two separate issues. Why are people on BRF connecting up the two issues? And how does bringing up this issue unconnected with VK Singhs case not qualify as shifting the goalpost?
I suggest you see the program on NDTV completely, particularly the passing remarks of Mr Puneet Bali.
I wish he had the sanction and his client the courage, to tell the SC what he told in front of camera today.

The government may be wrong in planing someone's succession, but how does that translate into VK Singh being dishonored when he has been elevated to the highest rank in the army out of turn and he has accepted that? How does the Supreme court become untrustworthy and be accused of not going into the merits of the case as has been stated on this thread? The Supreme court could have insulted the general with a verdict given what has been said so far.
When SC relied on the alleged acceptances, to backtrack the petitioner it should have questioned the basis of the alleged acceptances. To rely on something to pass an order without verifying its basis does not abide by the principles of Natural Justice.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 12 Feb 2012 23:34

anirban_aim wrote:I have but one question.......

If Bikram Singh becomes chief, what happens to Handa ji? On the fast track upwards????


No he is already done with and finished. His case in AFT is an afterthought.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby chaanakya » 12 Feb 2012 23:35

Badar wrote:
Could you please elaborate why this would be illegal or unconstitutional? I see no reason why it should be so.

309. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution,
Acts of the appropriate Legislature may regulate the
recruitment, and conditions of service of persons
appointed, to public services and posts in connection
with the affairs of the Union or of any State:
Provided that it shall be competent for the President
or such person as he may direct in the case of services
and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union,
and for the Governor 2*** of a State or such person as he
may direct in the case of services and posts in connection
with the affairs of the State, to make rules regulating the
recruitment, and the conditions of service of persons
appointed, to such services and posts until provision in
that behalf is made by or under an Act of the appropriate
Legislature under this article, and any rules so made
shall have effect subject to the provisions of any such
Act.

Now promotions are governed by defined sets of rules and it does not mention succession plan. You need to read guidelines for DPC and relevant rules for Armed forces for concerned posts.
Sinister in the way it seeks to edge out someone who is qualified and push in someone who would have retired in normal course though being equally qualified. It limits the options for others as well.

This falls firmly in the realm of favoritism, and not an argument against the line per se.


Favouritism is one thing not permitted in constitution though practiced. And brought o the public domain and if proved, it is the argument against it. Legal and moral.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 12 Feb 2012 23:38

Badar wrote:Could you please elaborate why this would be illegal or unconstitutional? I see no reason why it should be so.

Also why did AG bring this subject up then? If if the plan is verboten then why isn't he and parties to it end up being lynched for it? I note that the Opposition is not making much more than proforma "tsk tsk GoI handled this badly" noise.

If the succession plan is legal why don't you announce it? Why conduct the farce of a Selection Board when you have already decided the winner?

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Badar » 12 Feb 2012 23:43

Thanks chaanakya, that was incomprehensible and made my eyes glaze over. I'll take your word for it that it implies that a succession list is illegal.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Badar » 12 Feb 2012 23:46

nelson wrote:If the succession plan is legal why don't you announce it? Why conduct the farce of a Selection Board when you have already decided the winner?

The plan might be about desired outcomes rather than a set in stone list. For instance one car crash or heart attack will put paid to all such plans.

I assume that the Selection Board might well be a lever of making of the list.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby chaanakya » 12 Feb 2012 23:49

There was a case in TN . DMK Govt made Letika Saran as DGP superseding Mr Natraj. He wen to court (CAT). For selecting Mrs Saran panel was not formed and hence the order was quashed and Govt was asked to follow due procedure. The govt did. UPSC forwarded select list of three officers with Natraj as Top man Ms Saran as second. Govt, following due procedure selected Ms Saran. The order was again challenged but plea was dismissed. Mr Natraj is now TNPSC chairman. AIADMK asked Mrs Saran to proceed on leave and made her junior DGP from the panel if my memory serves right.

Moral is you follow the procedure and select from the panel. If you want BS select him through ACC. Don't make a sham show of selecting him.His authority to command would be reduced.
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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby chaanakya » 12 Feb 2012 23:50

Badar wrote:Thanks chaanakya, that was incomprehensible and made my eyes glaze over. I'll take your word for it that it implies that a succession list is illegal.

Well that Constitution of India. No Wonder. :)

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 13 Feb 2012 00:12

Badar wrote:
nelson wrote:If the succession plan is legal why don't you announce it? Why conduct the farce of a Selection Board when you have already decided the winner?

The plan might be about desired outcomes rather than a set in stone list. For instance one car crash or heart attack will put paid to all such plans.

I assume that the Selection Board might well be a lever of making of the list.


Your assumption is wrong, so is your conclusion.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby ShauryaT » 13 Feb 2012 01:14

nelson wrote:
Badar wrote:Could you please elaborate why this would be illegal or unconstitutional? I see no reason why it should be so.

Also why did AG bring this subject up then? If if the plan is verboten then why isn't he and parties to it end up being lynched for it? I note that the Opposition is not making much more than proforma "tsk tsk GoI handled this badly" noise.

If the succession plan is legal why don't you announce it? Why conduct the farce of a Selection Board when you have already decided the winner?
It is not about legality of a succession plan but the entire nature of civilian control over military would then come into question. If there is a plan drawn up, which envisages who will be the COAS 2,3 or 4 tenures down and this plan is done within the army, it dilutes civilian authority and discretion. If not in law then by convention and practice. As it is the practice is to get the "senior" most commanding officer to be the COAS and hence date and date alone determines it all. Since the practice is well set, now it is the COAS that is in a position to decide, who gets command, indirectly deciding, who will be the next COAS.

Now the question comes why will then a government sign up to such a plan. An incompetent government would have every reason to, especially one that is very comfortable in taking no decisions or responsibility. The MoD may not have created this original mess but exploited the issue they surely have. They have endorsed this succession plan and have been determined to protect it at all costs.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby shiv » 13 Feb 2012 05:52

pandyan wrote:
shiv wrote:The government may be wrong in planing someone's succession, but how does that translate into VK Singh being dishonored when he has been elevated to the highest rank in the army out of turn and he has accepted that? How does the Supreme court become untrustworthy and be accused of not going into the merits of the case as has been stated on this thread? The Supreme court could have insulted the general with a verdict given what has been said so far.


Isn't that what the SC did?

More fundamental question for which nobody here has answered is: Until 2006-7, Army was using 1951 as the year of birth and all of sudden his army bosses decided that his YOB is 1950. Why was this done? VKS could you have opted to object at that time....but, then he would have retired silently as a nobody; now the issue is all for us to see and decide

Well Nelson said this earlier about the Supreme Court's decision

Except that the verdict has not been given. I would have accepted it as a verdict if the SC has ordered on the basis of merits of the petition, rather than browbeating the petitoner and giving the option of taking the petition back.


If the court, which is alleged to be corrupt and part of this conspiracy, and Gen VK Singh is outside this conspiracy the court could have passed an unfavourable verdict no? From what you are saying, anything that the court does other than favoring VK Singh is an insult.

VK Singh's DoB issue was within the army. Didn't he write to defence ministry about it? What can the defence ministry do about a motivated or genuine clerical error in the army?

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby shiv » 13 Feb 2012 06:05

nelson wrote:
shiv wrote:So VK Singh did not bring it up. The succession plan has nothing to do with the VK Singh's case but is being brought up as a bogey here. They are two separate issues. Why are people on BRF connecting up the two issues? And how does bringing up this issue unconnected with VK Singhs case not qualify as shifting the goalpost?
I suggest you see the program on NDTV completely, particularly the passing remarks of Mr Puneet Bali.
I wish he had the sanction and his client the courage, to tell the SC what he told in front of camera today.

Nelsonji this discussion started before the NDTV program. Some of your opinions were posted before the program was aired. How will the program make a difference. Also I am told that NTDV is anti-national anyway and Burqa Dutt is foremost among traitors trying to sell the country. How can anyone trust what is on NDTV? I really should not dirty my mind watching that channel no?

nelson wrote:
The government may be wrong in planing someone's succession, but how does that translate into VK Singh being dishonored when he has been elevated to the highest rank in the army out of turn and he has accepted that? How does the Supreme court become untrustworthy and be accused of not going into the merits of the case as has been stated on this thread? The Supreme court could have insulted the general with a verdict given what has been said so far.
When SC relied on the alleged acceptances, to backtrack the petitioner it should have questioned the basis of the alleged acceptances. To rely on something to pass an order without verifying its basis does not abide by the principles of Natural Justice.


Didn't you say that court has reached no verdict. Has the court actually passed a binding order constraining VK Singh under the law? Gen VK Singh seems to be the victim of all these orders against his date of birth, but the fact is that there is in existence a date of birth document that puts his year of birth as 1950. Did a former COAS browbeat Gen VK Singh to become a Corps commander on the basis of that 1950 date of birth? Did Gen VK Singh become Corps commander under duress? Perhaps a copy of the order appointing him as corps commander using the earlier DoB is available, or is obtainable under RTI?

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 13 Feb 2012 06:11

The "conspiracy" allegations might not have emanated from Gen. VKS's mouth (in public at least),but the media certainly did! The whole fracas according to one angle of view is the orderly "line of succession",that he (Gen.VKS) was trying to stall,and disrupt the established "order of things" by raking up his DOB issue when he had already agreed upon 1950 on an earlier occasion.

I have one very serious Q here.In many of his statements,Gen.VKS had asked for "reconciliation" of his DOB by the GOI/MOD and also assuring them that he would retire in May 2012, and that his "reconciliation" request was not an attempt to wangle another year in office.If this was indeed a genuine request,why didn't the GOI look into it...from his perspective? True,at this late stage in his career,when he had already agreed upon 1950 just a few years back,what exactly where his motives in this quest/request that made the MOD/GOI reject his plea? What was the entire point of this exercise? Where was there a "loss of honour" at all as he had made chief! If one believes the words of the good general,after "reconciliation",he would retire this year happy and content and there would be no disrupting the "LOS",whose wheels had already started to move.Now if one disbelieves him,and some could justify such a doubt about his intentions,studying his petition to the SC wherein he asked for all his priviliges along with a corrected DOB,indicates another motive,to stay on for another year -the exact opposite of what he had earlier publicly stated and promised to the MOD.Here,if he welshed after getting his DOB rectified,the MOD/GOI could sack him saying that he was dishonest in his dealings/written statements,and he would certainly look a fool.

It is this point that I cannot comprehend,why rake the issue of my DOB at all when I am willing to step down early (and lose my "birthright"),sacrificing a year as chief,which will directly affect the promotion opportunities of my fellow officers in the "LOS",unless I know that I have goofed up (as he did in his own handwriting) in filling in my DOB decades ago! To any objective and neutral observer looking at the issue,unless I was upset about losing my right to another year as chief,there is/was little point of pursuing the matter whatsoever when I am planning to step down early.In fact Gen.Singh could've requested the MOD to even deliver a verdict on the issue "after" he retired and underscored his "honour" at a later date!
Had the good general truly been a man of honour,he would've protested and objected when he was asked/coerced into agreeing to his DOB being 1950,on the verbal assurances of his superiors of which there is no evidence at all, as alleged by him.At that time,with the carrot of chief dangling in front of his nose,he removed his "honour" from his chest and put it into his pocket.Taking it out at this late date (in fact he should've made it an issue the moment he became chief if it was so important to him) appeared to be a late and motivated gambit that has failed. The SC effectively said that "you can't have your cake (1950) and eat it too (1951) " . So the issue is not his extra year of service,but another reason,which circumstancial evidence points to the line of succession,who his successor will be and the undercurrents at work in that ongoing exercise.

What we should now try and comprehend is what damage has this done to the reputations of the 4 generals in the LOS? They are all eminently suitable having reached their rank and position by merit,one hopes and believes.There have been open accusations about Lt.Gen. BS's succession as being the root cause of this issue.Lt.Gen.Ghosh's erstwhile debilitating ailment illness has mysteriously been cured,with him allegedly hopping in front of the media to prove it! The flaws and faults of the contenders are slowly being leaked out by vested interests.If Gen.BS becomes chief,or any of the others,will he/they get the respect that he/they deserve or will their elevation to the post of chief be put down to a "conspiracy" as alleged innuendo fashion by Gen.VKS and his supporters? Are the disgraced former generals involved in sordid land scams trying to stir the pot from outside,hoping that one of their favourites might win the race and thus help cover up even more unknown scams? Only time will tell.As I said before,all are losers in this sorry affair,but Gen. VKS has lost the most.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby ShauryaT » 13 Feb 2012 06:39

Philip wrote:Had the good general truly been a man of honour,he would've protested and objected when he was asked/coerced into agreeing to his DOB being 1950,on the verbal assurances of his superiors of which there is no evidence at all, as alleged by him.
There is evidence.

(A) 1 July 2008: Letter from General VK Singh to General Deepak Kapoor, Chief of Army Staff “Since my last discussion on the subject in your office, I have mulled over the entire handling of the issue in great detail. I must also confess that I have been greatly hurt by the aspersions cast on my integrity and military reputation.At the same time I must also emphasise that I have the greatest regard and faith in you, not only as Chief but also as an elder role model. Thus I had no qualms in giving in writing whatever I was asked for, despite my reservations.”

This one letter is now being seen as a commitment by General VK Singh to stand by his date of birth as 1950. Many believe the case had been shut with this one commitment. But a closer scrutiny of the same letter and future correspondences point to the contrary, that the case was far from over, in fact had the makings of a messy tangle.

General VK Singh, in the same letter dated July 1, 2008 goes on to say, “I would want to know what are the constraints mentioned by the MS branch which compel them to maintain 10 May 1950 despite the SSC certificate and despite me mentioning 10 May 1951 in all my CRs (confidential reports). How is that CRs which are assiduously checked never rang any bell on this issue in MS Branch till I was to move on promotion as Lt Gen, Is it not an oddity sir ?”

He further questions, “how the MS banch carries out the verification of age since on the basis of the SCC certificate the AGs branch maintained records that showed 1951 as the year of birth.”

General VK Singh (then Lieutenant General) also points out that the entire issue be looked at dispassionately and if there were vested and parochial interests, which have clouded the issue, then they must be negated.

(B) The tone and tenor become stronger in a letter dated February 2009 from VK Singh to Lieutenant General Avadhesh Prakash, then Military Secretary once again reiterating that the SSC/10th board certificate, in effect is the authority for all purposes in matters related to age.

That the UPSC (in which the Date of Birth is noted as 1950) does not verify Date of Birth, it only scrutinises the application form for correctness and forwards it.

(C) It’s still not the end of the issue and three months later in an even more strongly worded , dated May 6, 2009, once again to the Military Secretary Lieutenant General Avadesh Prakash, General VK Singh writes:

“Your letter clearly points out that your branch has no system for verification of date of birth. It is also clear that your predecessor has deliberately not given out the correct fact to the Chief that the MS branch does not carry out any Verification of the Date of the Birth.”

“Let me also point out that the acceptance has been given in good faith because the Chief asked me to do so and not because of what your Branch was saying. Hence this argument cannot be used to hide facts and not provide details asked for.”

So even as the force and the Defence Ministry grapples with another controversy regarding its top officer, it is important to note that these flurry of letters were running parallel to investigations in the Sukhna land scam, where then Eastern Army Commander, Lieutenant General VK Singh had ordered a Court of Inquiry that was to later reach the top, to the Military Secretary Lieutenant General Avadesh Prakash and the Chief, General Deepak Kapoor.


Lt. Gen: Avadesh Prakash was court martialed in the Sukna land scam. Gen: Deepak Kapoor was indicted by the CAG in the Adarsh society issue.

The following will probably shed some light into the background rivalries and the politics of the army.

http://indianmilitarynews.wordpress.com ... ak-kapoor/

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 13 Feb 2012 08:26

Tx Shourya,I did not see these papers earlier.That he fought with his superiors on the issue and contested their viewpoint strongly in writing is a fact,but he acquiesced eventually which is why the SC has ruled as it has. As some have said,he was poorly advised by his legal team too.

Anyway,it only reinforces the impression that it is the LOS that is at the crux of the matter and not a matter of "honour".If it was such a burning issue with him,why didn't Gen.Singh upon his elevation as chief redress the issue immediately,when his superiors who are now embroiled in land scams were not on the scene and unable to influence events? Is there any "paper trail" of this available immediately after his elevation to the post of chief ? With them in disgrace now,surely his task would be easier within the IA/MOD to set matters right and convince the Def.Min./GOI of his case? In fact,the tenure of his term,being shortened,would be a genuine issue with which to seek an inquiry into the entire matter,with an early ruling within the IA/MOD,so that there would be no controversy later on when he had to retire early in may 2012. One cannot understand his wanting the righting of his DOB yet agreeable to retire early,as this would affect other senior officers who would be in the reckoning for chief if he stayed the course and three year tenure,and leave the field open for succession by some as alleged in the media,cronies of his former superiors.

Merely stating that one serves at the pleasure of the GOI is a known fact.That is not in dispute here.The Q now remains whether Gen.VKS will retire early thus "queering the pitch" for some of his potential successors.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby shiv » 13 Feb 2012 08:47

The Supreme Court cannot actually reach a judgement on the possibility of a promotion conspiracy when the issue on hand is fixing the general's date of birth. No matter how coincidental that alleged promotion scam may be, it is coincidental to the issue. There general has, for whatever reason, accepted two different dates of birth. In the army an order from a superior is an order from a superior. It is well known that hundreds of men have lost lives accepting orders from a superior in the army. In this case he order from a superior led to a mixed blessing. VK Singh was promoted and later went on to become COAS, but he lost a year of service as a result. It is plausible that he was forced into making a choice by a biased superior, who was later demonstrated to be iffy. But that choice did not actually result in any great personal loss for him. He gained the highest honor an army man can gain. At least that is what it looks like to a lay outsider. What honor was he defending? If he was upset at the loss of prestige that some good officers may have endured by these events, the fact still remains that he accepted the highest honor.

He may well have done the country a great favor by allowing the shit to hit the fan and for that I am grateful, but I still haven't understood what the supreme court did wrong. Ultimately his greatest honor may be that he sacrificed himself using a straw man date of birth issue to bring to the nation's consciousness the fact that promotions scams could occur.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 13 Feb 2012 09:16

Shiv,I think that you have summed it up very well.Now for the next incumbent and hopefully urgent matters of induction of eqpt.,lon delayed will be his and the GOI's top priority.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Deans » 13 Feb 2012 09:56

Shiv, A great summing up !

Can someone here please clarify if VKS would have made it to COAS, had his DOB been considered 1951 ? To me, that is at the heart of the matter, as far as his honor and this case are concerned and reading this forum has made me no wiser - unless I've missed something.

I don't believe the SC has acted incorrectly - their verdict may not be what a lot of us here expected, but it would be incorrect to arrtibute malafide motives to SC for that reason. The recent cases that I have followed - Vodafone, 2G etc showed that the SC is independent and has applied the law & their minds to the case.
I happen to know Sandeep Unnithan personally and would not for a moment doubt his integrity and objectivity. Again, one might not agree with everything in his articles but it is a point of view, backed up with some research and would not justify some of the comments here.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 13 Feb 2012 10:44

shiv wrote:...
Well Nelson said this earlier about the Supreme Court's decision

Except that the verdict has not been given. I would have accepted it as a verdict if the SC has ordered on the basis of merits of the petition, rather than browbeating the petitoner and giving the option of taking the petition back.


If the court, which is alleged to be corrupt and part of this conspiracy, and Gen VK Singh is outside this conspiracy the court could have passed an unfavourable verdict no? From what you are saying, anything that the court does other than favoring VK Singh is an insult.

VK Singh's DoB issue was within the army. Didn't he write to defence ministry about it? What can the defence ministry do about a motivated or genuine clerical error in the army?


I request you not read between the lines. I have never said SC is corrupt and it is part of the conspiracy. But, I have said and still maintain that SC did not confront the case in its entirety as a Court of Law is expected to do. Rather it chose to do arbitration and in that process cajoled the petitioner to withdraw the petition.

I also request you to filter my posts and read through what I have been saying since Jul 2011 in this thread.

The crux is the then Chiefs had no consideration to play truant with DoB of VKS except to satisfy or please the political master, read MMS. So the MoD has always been in the loop.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Kanson » 13 Feb 2012 10:49

Deans wrote:I happen to know Sandeep Unnithan personally and would not for a moment doubt his integrity and objectivity. Again, one might not agree with everything in his articles but it is a point of view, backed up with some research and would not justify some of the comments here.


Of course you happen to know SU very well, no doubt in that, but you seem to not knowing very well of all the articles appeared in India Today. Otherwise you must have noticed the backpedal of India Today once MS letter which mentions the promotion upto Lt. Gen was based on 1951 started appearing in public circle. That is long time after the letter was available in public domain and the discussion in public clearly points out that all those things mentioned in India Today article are nothing but lies. Abrupt lies.

Did you mention objectivity? If you know the slightest meaning of objectivity, what you are going to say about the abrupt lies that was carried by India Today initially. Those articles are nothing but hatchet jobs. If you want to praise SU and his articles pls do so but not on objectivity and integrity etc. Otherwise you are putting yourself to be judged by others whether you have any objectivity. Just My humble thoughts

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 13 Feb 2012 10:54

Kanson wrote:
Deans wrote:I happen to know Sandeep Unnithan personally and would not for a moment doubt his integrity and objectivity. Again, one might not agree with everything in his articles but it is a point of view, backed up with some research and would not justify some of the comments here.


Of course you happen to know SU very well, no doubt in that, but you seem to not knowing very well of all the articles appeared in India Today. Otherwise you must have noticed the backpedal of India Today once MS letter which mentions the promotion upto Lt. Gen was based on 1951 started appearing in public circle. That is long time after the letter was available in public domain and the discussion in public clearly points out that all those things mentioned in India Today article are nothing but lies. Abrupt lies.



Austin: see bolded above and the link I posted earlier. Only the appointment to COAS is with 1950. That is the reason for the speculation that it was deliberately done to favour someone.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 13 Feb 2012 11:01

shiv wrote:
nelson wrote:I suggest you see the program on NDTV completely, particularly the passing remarks of Mr Puneet Bali.
I wish he had the sanction and his client the courage, to tell the SC what he told in front of camera today.

Nelsonji this discussion started before the NDTV program. Some of your opinions were posted before the program was aired. How will the program make a difference. Also I am told that NTDV is anti-national anyway and Burqa Dutt is foremost among traitors trying to sell the country. How can anyone trust what is on NDTV? I really should not dirty my mind watching that channel no?


I requested you to see the program to avoid repeating for another time what I have been saying for the past so many times. I do not want to comment on NDTV. But you can view and understand the message of three persons there, Mr Manvender, Mr Puneet Bali and Lt Gen retd Katoch. Put together they sum up what I have been saying all along.

nelson wrote:When SC relied on the alleged acceptances, to backtrack the petitioner it should have questioned the basis of the alleged acceptances. To rely on something to pass an order without verifying its basis does not abide by the principles of Natural Justice.

Didn't you say that court has reached no verdict. Has the court actually passed a binding order constraining VK Singh under the law? Gen VK Singh seems to be the victim of all these orders against his date of birth, but the fact is that there is in existence a date of birth document that puts his year of birth as 1950. Did a former COAS browbeat Gen VK Singh to become a Corps commander on the basis of that 1950 date of birth? Did Gen VK Singh become Corps commander under duress? Perhaps a copy of the order appointing him as corps commander using the earlier DoB is available, or is obtainable under RTI?


Yes, I repeat there was no judgement as against an order. There exists a document that shows his DoB as 1950. There exists umpteen documents including those accepted as valid documents as per the law of the land that show his DoB as 1951.

Yes not one but two former chiefs browbeat VKS to sign letters which:-
- In the first place were ultra vires of any law, rule or regulation concerning the appointment of officers to a Command position.

- Second, the same was done with ulterior motives.

Definitely the SC need not have gone into the motives without a prayer to do so. But it was bound by law to test the legal basis of those letters which were flaunted before it, to mow down the petitioner.
Last edited by nelson on 13 Feb 2012 12:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 13 Feb 2012 11:03

Deans wrote:...
Can someone here please clarify if VKS would have made it to COAS, had his DOB been considered 1951 ? To me, that is at the heart of the matter, as far as his honor and this case are concerned and reading this forum has made me no wiser - unless I've missed something.

Yes, he would have made it any ways, 50 or 51.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Austin » 13 Feb 2012 11:18

viv wrote:Austin: see bolded above and the link I posted earlier. Only the appointment to COAS is with 1950. That is the reason for the speculation that it was deliberately done to favour someone.


Viv in umpteen discussion that i have seen and from what i have read and spoken , the last 3 appointment including that of COAS has been done and accepted by VKS in writing keeping 1950 as DOB. Infact on one occasion he even writes back clearing any doubts or misgiving any one may have on he accepting 1950 as DOB as far his promotions goes.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 13 Feb 2012 11:19

shiv wrote:The Supreme Court cannot actually reach a judgement on the possibility of a promotion conspiracy when the issue on hand is fixing the general's date of birth. No matter how coincidental that alleged promotion scam may be, it is coincidental to the issue. There general has, for whatever reason, accepted two different dates of birth.


Why did the SC not question the govt as to what was the need to ask for such letters? Is it by any rule or regulation, that allows govt to ask any Commissioned Officer to accept a date of birth? Or is it a tradition/ accepted practice to settle discrepancies in official records? Has it been( asking for acceptance) done before in any other case? Why VKS only?

In the army an order from a superior is an order from a superior. It is well known that hundreds of men have lost lives accepting orders from a superior in the army. In this case he order from a superior led to a mixed blessing.
It was a curse and only that. He was bound to become COAS any ways.

... What honor was he defending? If he was upset at the loss of prestige that some good officers may have endured by these events, the fact still remains that he accepted the highest honor.

You are saying as if this nation including the govt, the SC, the former Chiefs, etc have given the post of COAS as gratis to VKS. To me, he earned it over 44 years from 1966 to 2010. He was the best amongst his peers and he was chosen on the basis of merit to become COAS.

He may well have done the country a great favor by allowing the shit to hit the fan and for that I am grateful, but I still haven't understood what the supreme court did wrong. Ultimately his greatest honor may be that he sacrificed himself using a straw man date of birth issue to bring to the nation's consciousness the fact that promotions scams could occur.


My simple point about the SC action is this - The SC judges during the argument, allowed the respondent to flaunt a document that has no legal basis, ultra vires of written law and contrary to principles of justice. And on top of that, they used the same document whose legal basis is either absent or mala-fide, to push the petitioner to 'go with the wind'.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Deans » 13 Feb 2012 11:36

Kanson wrote:
Deans wrote:I happen to know Sandeep Unnithan personally and would not for a moment doubt his integrity and objectivity. Again, one might not agree with everything in his articles but it is a point of view, backed up with some research and would not justify some of the comments here.


Of course you happen to know SU very well, no doubt in that, but you seem to not knowing very well of all the articles appeared in India Today. Otherwise you must have noticed the backpedal of India Today once MS letter which mentions the promotion upto Lt. Gen was based on 1951 started appearing in public circle. That is long time after the letter was available in public domain and the discussion in public clearly points out that all those things mentioned in India Today article are nothing but lies. Abrupt lies.

Did you mention objectivity? If you know the slightest meaning of objectivity, what you are going to say about the abrupt lies that was carried by India Today initially. Those articles are nothing but hatchet jobs. If you want to praise SU and his articles pls do so but not on objectivity and integrity etc. Otherwise you are putting yourself to be judged by others whether you have any objectivity. Just My humble thoughts


Kanson, I'm not SU's lawyer. I'm quite willing to stand corrected if my understanding of the facts is wrong - that's why I read this forum. My point is that this is about VKS vs. the GOI/SC, so strong comments about someone else, not directly a party to the case,
may not be appropriate. I'm fine with reading a post saying that an article was a hatchet job for reasons X,Y & Z.
Last edited by Deans on 13 Feb 2012 13:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 13 Feb 2012 11:46

Now, I have a question. The question was asked by Mr Puneet Bali in yesterday's NDTV programme on DoB.

Let us assume that the DoB as per Army List, which the govt flaunts as the basis for its decisions, is 1951. And also assume that the actual DoB that all other documents carry and which the official record keeper Adjutant General maintains, be 1950. In such a scenario, will the govt or SC allow VKS an additional year in office?

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby kunalverma » 13 Feb 2012 11:47

shiv wrote:The Supreme Court cannot actually reach a judgement on the possibility of a promotion conspiracy when the issue on hand is fixing the general's date of birth. No matter how coincidental that alleged promotion scam may be, it is coincidental to the issue. There general has, for whatever reason, accepted two different dates of birth. In the army an order from a superior is an order from a superior. It is well known that hundreds of men have lost lives accepting orders from a superior in the army. In this case he order from a superior led to a mixed blessing. VK Singh was promoted and later went on to become COAS, but he lost a year of service as a result. It is plausible that he was forced into making a choice by a biased superior, who was later demonstrated to be iffy. But that choice did not actually result in any great personal loss for him. He gained the highest honor an army man can gain. At least that is what it looks like to a lay outsider. What honor was he defending? If he was upset at the loss of prestige that some good officers may have endured by these events, the fact still remains that he accepted the highest honor.

He may well have done the country a great favor by allowing the shit to hit the fan and for that I am grateful, but I still haven't understood what the supreme court did wrong. Ultimately his greatest honor may be that he sacrificed himself using a straw man date of birth issue to bring to the nation's consciousness the fact that promotions scams could occur.


I think the legal aspects of the case were not properly understood by VKS. In the simplistic belief that the SC was all about justice, the General took the matter up to the highest court in the land. However, listening to the legal expert and the former Jag who were my co-panelists on the NDTV show last night, one realized that on technicalities they could go on and on. Manvendra Singh echoed both General Katoch and my feelings when he said the SC had let itself down by side stepping the issue. What they did instead was to play the arbitrator in what looked like a fight between a parent (GOI) and a son (VKS), all the time basing their moderation on the principal that whatever be the facts of the case, the institution of parenthood must not be undermined!
Had the SC looked at VKS's case, it would have boiled down to 3 key issues:
1) The UPSC form
2) The 2006 letter
3) The 2008/2009 letter
The UPSC form was labeled the threshold document and the court commented that there was no written proof to substantiate that the UPSC had noted the correction. The legal team of VKS, perhaps sensing the mood of the bench, amazingly didn't react at this stage. The focus shifted to the technicalities around the Army List completely ignoring the fact that the NDA, IMA and the commissioning records of the officer were all 1951. Not just the AG's Branch but also the MS Branch records reflected this! A few years later the Army List was published, and this list is not circulated. It got filed away. It is also not a Presidential Order, a fact that the court agreed with and then set aside before moving on to the next point arround the so-called 'Acceptances".
At this stage, let me state that the 'line of succession' was not a listed point in VKS's petition. But had the argument been heard on this second point, it would have emerged as a critical mute point. In fact, this is exactly what the GOI is not wanting to discuss or get drawn into.
The 2006 letter is the key - firstly, the results of the Maj Gen to Lt Gen board were declassified on 15 April 2006. Two people who had to know this were the MS (Richard Khare) and the then COAS (JJ Singh). This point is also brought out in the MS's letter which has been published in the G-files and reproduced on this forum. It is absolutely essential to remember that until now even the MS Branch records were reflecting 1951 as the DOB, something which is reflected in all promotions from Lt onwards. Using the Army List as the only document that differs from the official records, Khare wrote to VK Singh, saying there is a difference in his age in the Army records. The JAG yesterday side stepped this issue when both Gen Katoch and I tried to raise this point.
Today we have the benifit of hindsight when we look at the entire case, and even then it is confusing. Picture it then - VKS receives this letter out of the blue. It's even more shocking for in the 1980s when someone told VKS that the Army List showed his DOB as 1950, he had tried to get it rectified. He was told (in writing) that there was no discrephency in the AG or the MS Branch, so where was the problem.
When Corps and Army Commander's are being appointed, their DOB as listed in the Maj Gen to Lt Gen Board are looked at and residual service looked at. JJ, Khare and the JAG need to answer why in this case, were the goal posts shifted and MS records - presuming the Army List nullified all other MS Records - superseded the AG Branch records only in the case of this one officer in the Indian Army! By its own SOP, the letter of 3 May was violating every norm that existed. It was an illegal letter, but it had the backing of the COAS (JJ). A smokescreen is thrown up at the same time, telling VKS that it is a procedural glitch and that after due verification the correction will be made. He is also told that all Corps commanders appointments are being held up, so please give a letter saying he accepts the COAS's decision in the 'organizational' interest. This is today being touted as the first 'Acceptance Letter'.
The story in 2008 is slightly more complex. In the overall scheme of things initiated in 2006 (with political backing, as underlined by General Katoch yesterday) it was imperative that VKS becomes the COAS. Deepak Kapoor, the COAS at this point of time, was after a bigger objective which was to push VKS out of reckoning for Army commander. The question that comes to mind is if JJ had, as claimed by MOD, already got an 'Acceptance Letter' from VKS, why was another one required? Yet, with the legal eagle JAG sitting there, they once again triggered off the entire controversy. At this point of time, the Age was not the issue - Deepak Kapoor wanted VKS to give him the grounds for an insubordination charge. This had its own implications and went against the grain of the 'succession plan' that had the political backing at a level which went beyond the Defence Minister (Antony has repeatedly stated this, so have others as pointed out by General Katoch yesterday).
VKS had to walk through a hostile scenario where he was being gunned for on a completely trumped up charge. Those who say he should have taken a stand then must realize that if he did that, it would not be about his DOB but it would have been for insubordination. Fortunately for him, the then Defence secretary, the Vice Chief and even the GOI stood by him, advising him to express faith in the COAS's judgement. Once Deepak Kapoor had the so called 'Acceptance Letter' in hand, he cancelled any pretext of an enquiry and declared VKS was born in 1950. If indeed this was an acceptance letter, then VKS would have shut up, closed the cupola and waited to be appointed the COAS. Records show that he did not do that, continuing to write to the MS (Avdesh Prakash) asking for the rationale behind Deepak Kapoor's decision, so how on earth this can be projected as an Acceptance beats me. That Avdesh Praksh by then had his own agenda is yet another story!
Yes, I also feel the legal team on VKS's front fell a bit flat on their face. I wasn't there but I'm told that the main council on the 3rd of February actually missed the first listing of the case as he was late in turning up! But all that is water under the bridge now.
VKS is the man in the middle and he's the best judge on what his future course of action will be. If indeed he has been a victim of a conspiracy, however far fetched it may seem to many, then I feel its his moral duty to step up to the plate and expose the entire story. Until now he has tried to fight it from within the system, and that has its constraints. Knowing the man and what he stands for, I think he had not taken a single false step until February 10 when the court decided to side step the issue. I guess we'll have to just watch and see how this plays out. I for one feel very strongly that one of our finest officers has been pushed around by a system where everyone goes with the wind (and it now has the SC's sanction). As I said on NDTV last night, VKS has given the younger generation in the Army a bit of self belief - for years now the gripe has been that senior officers never stand up for their rights. He's fought, and hopefully, as a firm believer in the dictum that the truth shall prevail, I feel that defeat for him in the larger interest is not an option.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 13 Feb 2012 12:02

@Kunal Verma

Amen to that.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 13 Feb 2012 12:06

svenkat wrote:It is with trepidition I post here.The General went to SC to vindicate his honour.And the judges ruled on technical point.

Can one 'argue' like this on the battle field?One is reminded of Gauss' observation in the context of proofs-'Not a lawyers proof where1/2 +1/2=0.'

Sometimes we make too much of the SC.They too come from the same society.One is reminded of the aphorism of US Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson. "We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final."

One just marvels at the insights of the ancient sages on power,justice,dharma.

The only issue here was the age certificate IMVHO.Was it genuine?If so,the General has been harassed for long.If it was false,that should have been exposed and VKS should have been humiliated.Thats what a soldier expects in my naive imagination.

My 2 paise rants.


So very true, venkat.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Kanson » 13 Feb 2012 12:12

Dear Dean

I'm only cautioning you. We may get carried away on various reasons. You may praise your friend and friendship but when coming to this issue pls apply your judgement.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 13 Feb 2012 12:14

kunalverma wrote:...
A few years later the Army List was published, and this list is not circulated. It got filed away. It is also not a Presidential Order, a fact that the court agreed with and then set aside before moving on to the next point arround the so-called 'Acceptances".


The Army List is still not circulated. None of the Gazette Notifications pertaining to officers get circulated either.

I did a sample survey of serving officers, if they had seen their name in the Army List in their career. To my horror i found none of them have seen it.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby nelson » 13 Feb 2012 12:31

A very pertinent article that comments on the current scheme of things and the need for correction.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opi ... ms?curpg=1

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 13 Feb 2012 13:28

shiv wrote: <SNIP>So VK Singh did not bring it up. The succession plan has nothing to do with the VK Singh's case but is being brought up as a bogey here. They are two separate issues. Why are people on BRF connecting up the two issues? And how does bringing up this issue unconnected with VK Singhs case not qualify as shifting the goalpost?


OK. Let me put this in as simple words as possible. VKS DOB issue is raised by MS and he is asked to accept 1950 as DOB. Now, please ask yourself this - (1) What was the need of MS Branch to ask VKS to accept 1950 as DOB when all the previous promotions were on the basis of 1951? (2) Why did the MS Branch not consult the AG's Branch to assess the correct DOB issue and arrive at a solution? On what basis did MS Branch take this unilateral action and to what end?

The answers to above questions is the key behind the conspiracy about succession plan and the need to make VKS accept 1950 as DOB. That VKS had a clear shot at the COAS post was always clear. But what aftert that?

So, no one is shifting the goal and it is not a bogey. This is real reason for the conspiracy to be hatched in the first place. But did VKS say so in the SC? No.

The government may be wrong in planing someone's succession, but how does that translate into VK Singh being dishonored when he has been elevated to the highest rank in the army out of turn and he has accepted that? How does the Supreme court become untrustworthy and be accused of not going into the merits of the case as has been stated on this thread? The Supreme court could have insulted the general with a verdict given what has been said so far.


For the first part, well, I don't know whether you're being obtuse or deliberately repeating the same stuff. VKS got the promotion to the office of COAS because he was entitled to...no one was superceeded to accomodate him. As for the SC judgement part, well, it choose to see one side of the coin and not another. Fair enough. That is the risk VKS carried when he went to the court. But for the rest of us, we cannot close our eyes to the whole development - SC verdict not withstanding.

Coming to the honor part - well, if you unleash the entire media against an indivisual and have article in supposedly leading magazines but so called journos titles "Self before Service"...it impinges on the honor of a man.

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Re: Indian Army: News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 13 Feb 2012 13:52

Nelson ,can we have further elaboration on this point please?

The crux is the then Chiefs had no consideration to play truant with DoB of VKS except to satisfy or please the political master, read MMS. So the MoD has always been in the loop.


Does it also implicate AKA too?


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