Screw This, I’ll See You In Court, Army Chief Tells Govt

Defence Minister AK Antony & Army chief Gen VK Singh
Most people didn’t think this would happen. Most said it was an option that was available to Chief of Army Staff General Vijay Kumar Singh, but nobody actually thought he’d go ahead and do it. (Well, almost nobody — I did a story on Headlines Today on Jan 1 quoting sources who said they were positive that the General planned to sue the Indian government in the Supreme Court) over the protracted and unseemly public debate over his year of birth. (For a full primer into the issue, read Sandeep Unnithan’s cover story in India Today magazine).

The story broke this evening while I was (and am) far away from Delhi (that didn’t stop the channel from tracking me down for a phone-in though). But what a story it is. Never before in the history has a serving Chief of Army Staff sued the government. It is not only unprecedented, but has been unthinkable. Even though my sources said they had no doubt that the Chief planned to actually sue the government, I remained skeptical. This is big deal. As most people know, the General has predicated his side of the argument on “honour, justice and integrity”, something that a lot of people don’t fully buy, considering that he is after all the Chief of Army Staff, and cannot aspire to more within the confines of his career in uniform. On the other hand, there’s the history of the current government’s almost uniform aloofness to military issues, even emotive ones like veteran pensions.

The whole unseemly affair now stands to play out in the country’s apex court, and by no account is it going to be pretty. The Chief’s decision to go to court also shows up three of the most powerful persons in India’s Union Cabinet, for their utter failure to resolve the issue amicably and outside the shadow of political intrigue: Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (who had been especially appointed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to troubleshoot the issue) and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has proven yet again that he has a penchant for letting things fester until they’re ready to blow in his face.

It’s an interesting start to the new year folks. Don’t exhale.

Photo / Deccan Chronicle

74 thoughts on “Screw This, I’ll See You In Court, Army Chief Tells Govt”

  1. Congress government in power and once again everything we hold dear in this country is being flushed down the shitter!

    First, the attack on our freedom of speech thanks to Comrade Sibal and now the tussle with the Army Chief. What next ? Emergency ??

  2. Checkmate Congress!!! If you fire him now your preferred candidate will be junior for COAS & if you don't fire Gen Singh will retire will full honour with a blot, while congress gets blame of not able to manage relationship with army. Punjab & UP both are frontier states with more army related household – bad timing for power dealers.So just like match fixing & stock exchange manipulation (insider trading) if Gen BK Singh has to become next COAS, congress will have to fix Gen Parnik's early retirement……bo bo merit as usual with this Govt of fixers

  3. It is a simple case of an officer moving to the honorable court for correction of his Dob and so his Dor. It need not to be considered any political or military matter. If this is unconstitutional then obviously this case is not going too far.

  4. sad day..u r right about the last point , this govt moves only when things blow up.
    though i dont understand where was the COAS Bravado during 26/11 ?
    no wonder the Army also has issues when the COAS is only interested in his welfare foremost.

  5. This is the same government which has a man called Digvijay singh in its fold who routinely mock Ashoka Chakra winner. It is same Government whose home minister was busy changing clothes and it is the same government which couldn't muster courage to clear a simple artillery purchase…this is a bogus government

  6. Shiv: the piece in India Today that you have linked to is a shameless hit-job by Sandeep Unnithan. It is by no means a "primer". I request you to remove this reference from your blog post. Spend some time and write an unbiased primer yourself

  7. RAW posts a torrent of abuse on what I say but it will be a fatal mistake to get diverted by it.

    [PTI report on Army chief, January 15 '12:] " "Nuclear weapons are not for war fighting, let's be quite clear on it. They have got a strategic capability and that is where it should end. Me and my Army are not bothered about who has nuclear weapons. We have our task cut out and we will progress along that," he told reporters in New Delhi."

    When the Army chief said (above) "Me and my Army are not bothered about who has nuclear weapons", he was referring to Satish Chandra. I have clearly stated how India's nuclear weapons will be used which is all that matters for India and the world:-

    The Indian Army and Air Force are worthless for destroying India's number one enemy, the United States. They could have made themselves useful by destroying RAW which is a branch of the CIA against India. They have not done that. So now RAW will have to be destroyed by the simultaneous nuclear destruction of New Delhi, Washington and New York.

    "India's greatest scientist and greatest living Indian publicly tortured in Harvard seminar, systematically and totally starved for up to 3 weeks at a time, made semi-starved and homeless and even blind for years, kept under 24-hour audio and video surveillance as well as surveillance of [and interference with] communications and electrical typewriter and computer use, document creation and photocopying, etc., by satellite for more than past 3 decades, systematically harassed and in poverty and neutralised and robbed of his work at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars per year, robbed of crores in his money and property in India by C.I.A.-RAW, forced back into exile in the U.S., all with full cooperation and participation of India's RAW and India's C.I.A.-RAW-controlled prime ministers, politicians and media — to keep India poor, weak and enslaved" and how this means the nuclear destruction of New Delhi and then the coast-to-coast destruction of the United States.

    I asked the Indian Army to arrest the top one thousand or so officers of RAW. It has not done so. Before that, more than a decade ago when the Indian Air Force went over Sri Lanka against the LTTE, I wrote it should just bomb the RAW headquarters in New Delhi and that will take care of the problem because the LTTE was sponsored by RAW. The Indian Air Force did not do that. But India's nuclear forces obey Satish Chandra. He does not need India's conventional forces or the rest of the government and citizenry to defend India which requires the destruction of RAW which will be done by nuclear means, that is, the simultaneous nuclear destruction of New Delhi, Washington and New York, with a warning that additional U. S. cities will be destroyed, with nuclear warheads already emplaced in them by special forces, if there is any retaliation.

    The fact that RAW has not been destroyed is an expression of the fact that everyone in New Delhi is a collaborator with the enemy. Hence it is appropriate and necessary that these collaborators with the enemy will be destroyed in the nuclear destruction of New Delhi. Five years after the nuclear destruction of New Delhi, Washington and New York, the coast-to-coast destruction of the United States will be carried out so the Americans will be eating one another till no one remains alive.

    I am India's expert in strategic defence, father of India's strategic program including the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program and the world's greatest scientist ( biography in Marquis' Who's Who in the World, 2012 and earlier editions). See 'What You Should Know About RAW' in my blog titled 'Nuclear Supremacy For India Over U.S.' which can be found by a Yahoo/Google search with the title.

    Satish Chandra

  8. If COAS is treated so shabbily, what will happen to common soldiers?
    Further, one can imagine the treatment that will be met by the Ex Servicemen.

    Congress has not understood the Service fraternity for last 65 years or 127 years of their existence.

  9. Sure he is being treated as Pak Army Chief. No other govt other than this corrupt & puppet govt would have come against their own glorious army chief's and instead protect him except he has done a brutal crime.

    When every corrupt babu's are immune and protected by govt in these days, it is 'cruel' to see this happening. I have sympathy for him and will give big support for the chief.

    Things that never occured and shouldn't occur are happening here with this govt.

    I think this sonia rat govt is breathing its last.

  10. I am glad he is standing up for what he believes, and has the ball$ to fight for justice. To me this has nothing to do with the political party in power, and therefore I do not see a need to make this a Congress vs the General thing. This is just right against wrong. Even if he loses this battle, I will be glad that he at least fought for what he believed to be right and also his right.

  11. What kind of honour a man has… if he had enjoyed the… fruits under a set of rules… and next moment he disowns them for another set of rules… to cling to power… really shameful… this person has no… pride or honour… let in him…

  12. Most of these singhs are twelve clock high, especially our COAS and MMS. What was the COAS doing all this while? Looks like he just woke up from a long slumber when his dob controversy came up making his tenure a year short. Only that raise his heckles. He was not bothered about his army not buying much needed artillary for the past 20 odd years. He couldn't care less when the army wallahs bought the T-90 tin cans. He let his dungus make unsavoury remarks about the Arjun and even now hasn't the guts to own up his mistake that the Arjun is a better tank than the T-90.

    MMS, on the other hand is so comfy with his PeeMs position, he is playing the role that Nehru played prior to the 1962 debacle.

    Saint Anthony is so obsessed with his image (clean?) that he would rather the babooos in MOD do whatever at their own risk so long he is left to his own devices – playing the innocent and ineffective fool like Shri Krishna Menon.

    Whether it is UPA, BJP or whatever, they are all from the same corrupted and vested-interest mould. They care two hoots for the security of the country and the poor jawans who take the brunt in any war thrust upon them by these oxymoron politicians.

    Only GOD can save India from these leaches, parasites and blood-suckers.

  13. There is nothing unconstitutional about filing the writ in the High Court. The Chief is only seeking a clarification which the Government was incompetent to do. Even other wise we should not forget we are being rules by a bunch of nerds, who have completely put this country in a shit hole.
    However the other aspect would be whether it was correct keeping in view the high office he holds, as well as the honour of the Defense forces, whether the Chief should have approached the High Court.

  14. IT seems UPA govt…has no connection with reality…It s shame that the Army chief has to go to court to decide his date of birth…What a pity….There are issues abt army modernization…Indian army has not been able to induct any artillery in past 25 years..But Ak Antony says in rajya sabha that we have adequate artilery inspite the Army crying for it…What a lie and what a shame for this Govt..I sick of this incompetant and corrupt govt…

  15. General Singh made a statment Nuclear weapons are not ment to be used well i think he should retire as the General does not know that the nuclear weapons will be used in the future by many countries against the adverserys direct or indirectly.

  16. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

    Trust the supreme court will treat this case on its merits. If the govt of India sacks the army chief it will create new scandal for an already scam tainted UPA govt. I doubt the UPA would sack him given the current political environment facing them. As for a compromise is one really possible?? Will the army chief step down if Govt of India accepts May 1951 as his true birth record?? For all this n more stay tuned to livefist.

  17. All those who are critical of the Government should give their ideas on how the issue should be tackled along with all the potential consequences. It is easy to talk rubbish in forums without any responsibility.

  18. At the end of this controversy it will be time to review the entire issue of the relations between the GoI and the defense services.

  19. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

    St Anthony should step down as cabinet minister for defence. He has failed to rise to the occasion n rein the IAS coterie running the defence ministry. MOD has a reputation for hanging defence chiefs to dry when they don't tow MOD views.

  20. Shiv,

    While watching to Arnab's debate yesterday on Times Now news channel, one of the general(retired) commented that there was a serious effort made to diffuse the situation. The bargain was that Govt. on its own part will admit to the mistake regarding DoB & General will retire in May'11 from its own side.
    The retired military-man put the entire blame of this solution not working on the article published in India Today which is Headlines Today's sister publication. Would you like to comment on this?

  21. general is at fault in all government jobs u have get all ur records str8en out in first 5 year of ur service.. after tht whatever is, it is ,he is not the first nor the last whose records cost them few less years deal with it…and also he was told before to set his record str8 and he ignored for last………

  22. [email protected] 12:05
    you are completely ignorant of the issue here aren't you?… The general was given all promotions till the rank of lt gen. with his date of birth as 1951… the army's AG branch (army's record keeper branch) says his date of birth is 1951, and so do his records in Military Hospital, there is only one document in MS branch (the branch responsible for postings) where his DOB is given as 1950 and in case of any discrepancy, the records of the AG branch should supersede. Even 3 former chief justices of india support the army chief's stance on this issue. Therefore your point about him straightening out his date of birth within the first 5 years of service shows lack of research and ignorance on the issue..

  23. One thing is sure in this fracas – it has brought out clearly how the media is lock, stock and barrel, the Govt's. Unnithans article above does not even make a pretense of being neutral. All MOD sources and "anonymous" Generals. Similarly, the NDTV debate anchored by Vishnu Som clearly had an agenda, led by the anchor himself to push the Govt line. Shameful, when the so called 4th estate which should be fully neutral is nothing but an arm of the Govt.

  24. Speaks volumes about the insane bureaucracy and the defence minister that runs that joint.

    The nation owes a big apology to Gen Singh…

  25. Heard that government has decided to fight this in court. MOD has taken a strong stand that general's date of birth has to be considered as 1950 after consulting the attorney general. Good job!! Law should not change even for army general. The general only damaged his image and integrity by going public on this issue. It was he(or his teacher) who wrongly entered date of birth in the form, accepted promotion based on 1950 as dob, and gave in writing that the issue is settled. V K Singh should have accepted the government view and retired when his tenure ends.

  26. Thats why we need a Chief of Defence Staff, to form a wedge between the defence institutions and the inept ministry, the countrie security is at stake when the COAS is fighting the govt and not prepping a war.

    Appoint a CDS now and take control of the Defence pronto

  27. Just like the mass-media, the Social media, the President, the Election Commission, the Central Vigilance Commission, the CBI, the Loyakuktas and even the High Courts, the national criminal conglomerate known as the UPA is trying to consolidate their power over the Indian Army as well and replace its leaders with their own puppets.

    Go on, scum public of India. Vote for these 'secular' crooks. In a few years India will be more like a Monarchy than a Democracy and the Congress High Command will decide who is right and who is wrong, who is a criminal(only Opposition parties and unruly Coalition Partners) and who is honest(Everyone in Congress, especially the Royal Italian Family), who should loot and profit and how etc.

    All people from all communities will be looted, plundered, starved and murdered equally. This is what Congress' 'Socialism' is all about.

  28. Wonder how much your India Today colleague Unnithan got, for his hit job done on the reputation of V.K. Singh. Haack Thoo Unnithan !!

  29. Feel vindicated when I voted that he should sue the government, instead of meekly resigning.
    Feel great that this Rajput has balls worth his name to show this govt. it's real aukaat ! Raja Ramchandra ki Jai !

  30. @1:52 PM
    It well known… the [email protected]#(@$d… accepted his last position to become… Gen in IA and COAS… 1950 DOB… If he had the Indian Army's… Pride & Honour… in him he should have kicked this post… without accepting… promotion under duress… what a filthy man this guy is…

  31. Welcome to era of Militant Politics. High public angst, rising cost of living, decreasing resources, with rampant appeasement and favoritism totally missing value based decision making. Now armed forces are being affected by this apathy created by our own Elite. From small Ramdev supporters defacing Kangress's chief poster to Naxals in jungles of Junglemahal to General Sahab in Delhi – everybody is suffering from gross apathy and indifference prevalent in our country for last 3 decades. If not checked and corrected by bringing in magnanimity in Kangresses working style – it will lead to other million mutinies. For Kangresses message is simple – stop counting your looted cash as storm waiting at our doorsteps has potential burn it all.

  32. This type of issue is common in India. In almost all cases the date of birth is not changed.

    Imagine the chaos if people are allowed to bring in documents to get their date of birth changed.

    I suggest the critics try and get their DoB changed in their respective offices to find out about the consequences.

  33. It is said that armed forces are joined for the honor & dignity associated with it. Army Chief had to do this, or what precedence he would have set for the 13 lakh strong force & many more to come. Is this the pride & dignity which we talk about our defense personal, who are treated like simple government employee. If our army chief is treated like this, what would be the morale of the army? The incumbent govt. has treated this matter as a fight between the service class & political class.

    Our former defense minister Mr Krishna Menon enjoyed employing the army chief as his driver. The result was a humiliating defeat by the Chinese. The political class has always thought themselves as the master & treated the service class as their servant. But you can not treat the armed forces like this. Army men are meant to fight & not to bow down.

    The current government has failed to deliver on each & every platform. This matter could have been solved in diplomatic way, where both the parties could have found amicable solution. This matter would forever remain as a blot on govt & army relationship.

  34. Gen. V K Singh will earn a place for himself in Indian military history for his behavior similar to the generals in Pakistan. Once this issue is sorted out, GoI has to seriously take steps to minimise scope for mischief by people in uniform.

  35. Matter was with the army all along. Primary mess creator is Gen. Singh himself. The people who did not accept his claims were his superiors. Now the good general wants to drag the GoI into the mess. Despicable behavior.

  36. Gen Singh also has skeletons in his cupboard. He promised to complete the gun import from the US despite knowing there were problems in the guns. What is honorable in giving written commitments to suit his needs and then crying for justice when he wants an extension in service.

  37. Shiv – whisky drinkers don't pis in pants. Buddy you are pre-screening our conmtent-possible reason for your comment count not increasing.

    Why Scared buddy? Freedom runs in my blood. Let's see which govt is ready to draw my blood

  38. In case the general is going to the court whats wrong he is fighting for his rights and showing way to others what do the civilians understand about honour,justice and integrity

  39. Yes..he also has the guts..what ever may be the result of this event..this will pave the way for armed forces personnel to fight against the government rulling…if the government makes any wrong the ranking,pensions,cast/religion based entry or promotions in the armed forces. Be it a General or a Common soldier..he will have a example and a chance to fight his case in Supreme Court instead of doing a suicide (we are reading fratricides everyday in armed forces…why ? ).

  40. Two words define our army, "Indian Army".
    Yes! The reason that our army has never overthrown democracy is the fact that it is "Indian" Army. Well organised and powerful yet very disciplined. Everyone feels very proud about such a disciplined behaviour of the army but at the same time one's freedom of words also should not be exploited. But the government insist on doing that. If it is the mistake of Defence Ministry then why Army chief should pay for it. We don't have a unstable democracy, the one like our paki neighbours have (bad neighbourhood especially for democratic parties), then why let it go. If he has chosen to fight against the government then i would like to see him coming out as winner because he's the one has raised voice against lunatic ministry. And a suggestion to congress, "Army ain't BJP which can be handled on roads" 😉

  41. I feel congress may win in terminating the general but they have lost badly in peoples eyes for bringing such a disgrace to the General and to those in the army who have given everything for their beloved country. Shame on you Mr. Anthony and Congress government. There was a better way out and they chose a wrong way.

  42. Both Gen Kayani and Gen V K Singh are using their tactical military knowledge to ambush their constitutional bosses. Both belong to the same school. Both have made meticulous preparations in this ambush. They both have like minded professionals to support them. The respective Governments are dealing with professionals who haves turned rogue.

  43. The MOD – IAS nexus has always been anti soldier. They have used all resources available including manipulating print media to hem in the army and its independent minded officers. I hope the General wins this one and Unnithan for his India today insidious article gets sued first and drowns in his excreta later.

  44. Military brass are usually obnoxious and arrogant people, full of nothing much, except pompousness and phoo-phaa, polished brass, no strategy, lots of servants and batmen, little understanding of politics or diplomacy or foreign affairs, and have seldom amounted to much in the Indian scheme of things except for an inflated sense of self and self-importance.

    But, in this case, Gen VK Singh is probably dead right. I don't think he is stupid enough to go to court if he wasn't sure what his mother had told him. The whole case is a case of mistaken identity and compounded mistakes by the government. They twisted his arm to sign off on his birthdate when he was being promoted, a thing he could hardly refuse. But now that he is full general, he's got the politicians where he wants them — within his cross hairs. And, the government may not give him an ambassadorship or governorship, but they will have to pay him money BIG TIME.

    You watch the story and mark my words. The government is going to have to eat crow! I'm going to be reading every development that takes place. It's a great story for a stupid country like India.

  45. This sort of thing OII (Only in India!) No matter what the Indians do, it still remains the most lousy country on Earth after Pakistan and Bangladesh.

  46. The fall out of this episode is that MoD will not trust the services. Gen. V K Singh was promoted after getting letters from him. What more can the MoD do in view of the unresolved date of birth.

  47. I do not consider Gen. V K Singh trustworthy. Anybody who can go back on his written commitment is not trustworthy, no matter what. He cannot be trusted at all. The GoI should see the back of him at the earliest, after seeing what the court has to say.

  48. Shiv,

    Firstly, howcome Army is making headlines in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Of course for different reasons ?

    Secondly, displeasure for your blog piece on Headlines Today which appears "influenced".

  49. arre MOD babus: Bhikh ka katora nikaalo, tax ke naam pe hum tumhe bhikh dedenge. Arms dealero ke talwe chaatne ki kya zaroorat hain ? We all know you fucking IAS guys have no self respect. For money and position you have already this country a million times, now get ready to get raped in the supreme court

  50. The General has tried army tactics of deception and ambush on his masters. Does he also practice army tactics on his family members ?

  51. Did the General tell each of the retired chief justices that he is taking multiple opinions ? That they will made public ? How did the opinions of the retired Chief Juctices reach the Grenadiers Association ? There will be many people who have been had in this episode. In future, I am sure opinions of such nature will not be easy to get. The General's tactics may work with the GoI, they are unlikely to work with the Supreme Court.

  52. The General made a mistake about his date of birth at the time of joining the army. He has made an issue of it at the end of his career. In between he never grew up.

  53. If the honorable Supreme Court can restore the honor and integrity of the good General, I would also like to approach the honorable Supreme Court for all the many affronts to my honor and integrity during the course of my career.

  54. The US and UK have an office of the Chief of defense staff which takes care of many routine matters. We should also implement this position for coordinating with the services. The discomfort faced by the services in reporting to the bureaucracy will also be reduced. This office can co-ordinate for joint operations, commonality in procurement, budgeting for longer periods etc.

  55. This is all excellent. Now the govt. can finally appoint an IAS fellow as the COAS. It all fits right into the scheme of things. How wonderful!

  56. I see many people remain in slavish devotion to the Congress party here as well. They speak of how Gen Singh is unreliable as though the netas and babus whose boots they aspire to polish on a daily basis were actually honest and trustworthy.

    India is one country where I wouldn't mind if the Army turned against the government and commited genocide of the politicians in power. Afterwards you fellow crooks can mourn the loss of so many 'secular'(meaning they'll lie, cheat and steal from everybody regardless of religion) scum.

  57. At the time when he was joining NDA ,he was only 14 yrs of age (if gen DOB is 1951).That means he was not even eligible for appearing for NDA in 1965…..

  58. All defense related matters should be purely as per well articulated policy. The services should deal with a newly created office of Chief of Defense Staff manned by officers from the services who will implement the policy. All the bad blood about bureaucracy, politicians can be avoided.

    At present, all blame lies with the GoI. After implementation of the new system all responsibility should be with the services.

  59. Is the defense ministry the age fixing body for the services ? Is it the appellate authority in case of disputes ? Is there any procedure for change of personal particulars in the services ? Has it been followed in this case ?

  60. AT the end of this episode, the Govt should take up the unfinished business after Kargil. The CDS should be appointed and all policy implementation, inter service coordination, budgeting and procurement issues should be transferred to the office of CDS. Defense matters are emotive issues and the politicians and bureaucrats should distance themselves from all routine matters.

  61. Absolutely disgusting and obnoxious. The ways of this UPA govt is more toxic than the MIC gas from UC plant in Bhopal.

  62. CDS is the need of the hour, if this episode doesn't make them do, nothing will. Make the current Chief of Staff committee head ADM Verma the CDS on his tenure end this year and get the ball rolling, its high time.

  63. @Annon
    you said:

    {i}At the time when he was joining NDA ,he was only 14 yrs of age (if gen DOB is 1951).That means he was not even eligible for appearing for NDA in 1965…..{/I}

    Check your facts you moron and compulsive hater. When Singh joined NDA, the qualification was 10 pass and one was elible to join NDA at 14.

    The Army is being run by 10th pass morons..

  64. @Anon 9.27

    Looks like you haven't heard of the Bsc degree's conferred at NDA or the one at DSSC and numerous others at their foreign courses that the officers get. The only moron is the on that assumes a half witted statement like the one you made.

  65. {i}At the time when he was joining NDA ,he was only 14 yrs of age (if gen DOB is 1951).That means he was not even eligible for appearing for NDA in 1965…..{/I}

    Check your facts you moron and compulsive hater. When Singh joined NDA, the qualification was 10 pass and one was elible to join NDA at 14.

    The Army is being run by 10th pass morons..

    check u r facts first eligibility and Educational qualification is entirely different……
    only a person who has minimum 15 years of age can only appear for NDA at that time,his education qualification can be 10 th pass or degree as u like moron!
    presently the rule is 12 th pass(ie 18 yrs of age (b) Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status :
    Only unmarried male candidates born not
    earlier than 2nd January, 1994 and not
    later than 1st July, 1996 are eligible))

    (c) Educational Qualifications :
    (i) For Army wing of National Defence
    Academy :- 12th Class pass of the 10+2
    pattern of School Education or equivalent
    e x a m i n a t i o n c o n d u c t e d b y a S t a t e
    Education Board or a University

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