Friday, February 10, 2012

General VK Singh withdraws his petition on age row

Updated Feb 10, 2012 at 03:57pm IST
Age row: General VK Singh withdraws his petition
New Delhi: Army Chief General VK Singh has withdrawn his petition filed in the Supreme Court on the controversy over his date of birth. General Singh's counsel UU Lalit told the two-judge bench of Justice RM Lodha and Justice HL Gokhale that they do not wish to press the matter any further in the court. The apex court also asked the General to give an undertaking that he would accept his date of birth as May 10, 1950 within the next 48 hours.

The petition was withdrawn after Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati told the apex court that the government had never questioned the bonafide or integrity of General Singh and contesting the petition did not reflect any lack of confidence in the Army Chief.

Earlier, Vahanvati had told the bench that even though the government was resisting General Singh's plea, it was not against the highly decorated soldier.

General Singh's lawyer Puneet Bali said that the petition was withdrawn as the Army Chief was fighting for his honour and integrity. Claiming that the petition was not about General Singh's tenure, Bali said that the petition was only about determining the correct date of birth.

"The Government of India and the General sorted out the matter gracefully and amicably. Right from the time the petition was filed in the court, it was a matter of integrity. This petition was not meant for extension of service. We are satisfied with the court's ruling as the honour and integrity (of the General) has been restored. The honour and integrity is restored, and it wasn't meant to be beyond that for us. The matter has been amicably solved and we have withdrawn the matter," said Bali.

Adding that "this is the end of the matter", he said that they don't plan to agitate further on the matter.

Earlier, in a major setback to General Singh, the Supreme Court directed him to accept May 10, 1950 as his date of birth and asked him to withdraw his plea or else the court would pass an order on it. The General would complete his tenure as Army Chief on May 31, 2012 and retire on the same date.
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