Army Chief’s age row: What some veterans feel

The Army Chief’s age controversy has assumed very disturbing proportions for the past eight months or so. We have had some facts coming out, some insinuations made, some inspired leaks from both sides muddying the water further.

It has been a topic of heated discussion tinged with sadness among Army veterans too.

Here’s a sampling of what many veterans feel. 

My friend Gopal Karunakaran, a proud ex-colonel, thinking individual and a fine human being has hit the nail on the head with his comment at the beginning of this post. Please read on. Makes for a disturbing read indeed.

Nitin Gokhale

gopal karunakaran []
 Nitin A Gokhale
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 7:06 AM

Dear Nitin,

You may have got this before – but if you haven’t it may be useful! 
It is so sad – but my point remains – the Chief is right – but the circumstances and timing of bringing it ups is poor! 


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Rakesh Prasad Chaturvedi <>
Date: Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 1:55 AM
Subject: colrpc-choice:704) Fwd: Army Chief Gen Singh: Facts

Please see this interesting compilation. It is sad that the last bastion of India is being subjected to an apparent politicization.

Its Dangerous. Please NOTE. 

Be assured that this CAN NOT be in India’s interest. 


With Warm Regards,
Col RP Chaturvedi,

A-35, Sector 36, 

Noida 201303.

Mob: +919891279035

E Mail ID:

Nescit Cedere

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: VK Vidyadhar
Date: Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 1:47 AM
Subject: [indianveterans] Fwd: Army Chief Gen Singh: Facts

Thank you Bala for these “Facts”.  A very interesting saga of the whole episode.  My sympathies lie with Gen VK Singh.
What emerges from all this is that there is some “hanky panky”, “gol mal” going on in the background.  I can see the cunning, manipulating hand of our babus in all this.
Gp Capt VK Vidyadhar



Begin forwarded message:


From: Bala Shankar
Date: 18 January 2012 1:21:31 AM GMT+08:00



A comprehensive compilation. Please forward this to everyone who cares about facts !!.















Sr No.
Ancestral Village: BAPORA in Bhiwani Distt (Haryana)
Father: Late Lt. Col Jagat of Rajput Regiment (14 Rajput)
Date & Place of Birth
10 May 1951 at MH, Pune
Father’s record of service and 14 Rajput records refer.
Schooling: Birla Public School, Pilani (Rajasthan) up to Class X
MARCH 1966
Date of Birth Recorded in School Register and School Leaving Certificate
10 May, 1951
Applied for written entrance exam for National Defence Academy (ND) Khargwasla as Air Force Entry Cadet for 36 NDA Course commencing 13 July 1966
DOB wrongly filled in the UPSC entrance form by BS Bhatnagar, erstwhile. English teacher at Birla Public School, Pilani as 10 May 1950 instead of 10 May 1951.
Eligible age for entry for 36 NDA course as on 01 July 1966
15 Years to 17-1/2 years
Gen. VK Singh eligible for both the ages i.e. 10 May 1951 and 10 May 1950
Matriculation Certificate or Certificate of Date of Birth from his father not attached with the application form pending receipt from Board of Secondary Education, Rajasthan/Lt. Col. Jagat Singh (Father)
At the time of filling the UPSC application form, Gen. VK Singh was MINOR (14 years Plus) and had possibly signed the form without checking the details within the confidence that all details filled- in by his teacher would be correct.
Before facing Service Selection Board and entry to NDA, a Certificate from his Father’s Unit (14 Rajput) and School Leaving Certificate giving correct Date of Birth (i.e. 10 May 1951) was forwarded to UPSC/appropriate authorities
03 AUG
UPSC, then, queried the Officer as to the anomaly between DOB filled in the UPSC application form and the two certificates subsequently forwarded as the serial 9 above.
The query was replied to with confirmation that correct Date of Birth is 10 May 1951, as recorded in School Leaving Certificate and his Father’s service records maintained by his unit (14 Rajput) – Receipt for above correspondence with UPSC available.
Based on the facts mentioned at Serial 10 above and having convinced on the correct DOB (10 May 1051) the Officer was given a call for Service Selection Board (SSB) and allowed to join NDA as “PROVISIONAL” candidate pending receipt/submission of MATRICULATION CERTIFICATE.
  • The UPSC, thereafter, never queried on the issue of DOB confirming that issue has been laid to rest.
The Matric Certificate was not submitted at this time since though the results were declared on13 June 1966, but the Certificate was not issued. However, school had issued Provisional School Leaving Certificate, which mentioned his passing Xth class and DOB as 10 May 1951. The Certificate was accordingly forwarded to appropriate authorities.
The Officer filed a Record of Service particulars form while joining NDA which reflects his DOB as 10 May 1951.
Even his Medical Examination form as an Air Force Candidate reflects 10 May 1951 as his DOB.
The Officer joined Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun after passing out from NDA and was commissioned in Indian Army on 14 June 1970 in Infantry (2 RAJPUT)
14 June 1970
  • All records maintained by NDA/IMA reflected DOB as 10 May 1951.
Based on Service Records maintained at IMA, it issued officer Identity Card to the Officer reflecting this Date of Birth as 10 May 1951 (based on School Leaving Certificate) since Matric Certificate was not submitted by them.
This endorsement could not have been made if IMA records would not have had 10 May 1951 in the officer’s records of service particulars maintained by them.
The officer on Commissioning joined 2 RAJPUT on 1970and filled form No.IAFZ-2041 on joining the Unit, which is forwarded to Army HQ AG’s Branch (the official Record Holders of all Officers). Even IMA forwarded IAFZ-2041 to AG Branch (10 May 51)
14 June 1970
  • Here, once again, at Para/Serial 6 of the Form the officer Officer fills-in his DOB as 10 MAY 1951.
The Officer attends Infantry Young Officers Course(YO-COURCE-2) at Mhow and returns to the Unit (2 RAJPUT) on April 1971
Sep 1970 to March 1971
Before reporting back to his Unit, he visits his village and finds the Matric Certificate there.
The Matric Certificate was issued by Rajasthan Secondary Board of Education on 13 June 1966 and forwarded to Birla Public School.
Birla Public School forwarded the Matric Certificate at his father’s Unit address (14 RAJPUT)
But his father had been posted out of the Unit by then to :-
  • Branch Recruiting office REWA, then to
  • NCC Narnaul
14 Rajput had accordingly dispatched the certificate to Rewa Rectg Office, who then dispatched to NCC Narnaul, who then forwarded to the Officers ancestral village since his father had moved out from there on retirement.
Obviously the Matric Certificate kept lying at his village unattended since no one was residing at his ancestral house since his father had moved out to Bhiwani where he expired in the year ____________
The officer instantly submitted the Original matriculation certificate late to Army HQ (AG’s Branch) through his Unit (4 RAJPUT).
April 1971
The Unit had sent the certificate to Army HQ (AG’s Branch) who after due verification and updating their records returned the original certificate to the Officer and changed “Provisional” status to “Permanent”
Meanwhile, without checking and confirming detailed record of service from Army HQ (AG’s Branch) who are the Official record holder and authority on all such matters) Military Secretary Branch (MS) got ARMY LIST published on ____________ reflecting wrong Date of Birth of the Officer as 10 MAY 1950, instead of 1951.
Though the Orders on the subject are very clear on the subject, MS Branch failed to verify the Date of Birth of the Officer from official record holder (AGs Branch) and the CGDA (the paying authority) and erroneously and carelessly endorsed 10 May 1950 as the officer’s DOB in the Army List.
Even when Matric Certificate was received by AG’s Branch at Army HQ in April 1971 (within two years of Commissioning of the officer, no effort was made by MS Branch to either correct its records nor verify the same from AG’s Branch annually attached with Annual Confidential Report starting from 1971.
The seeds of MAIN controversy of DOB of Gen VK Singh was sworn by the careless attitude and erroneous actions by the MS Branch at this stage which was allowed to persist till 2006 when they first queried the officer on the anomaly in his DOB. (30 years after commissioning -?)
  • Why at this belated stage- ??
The mistake was even never rectified till date by the MS Branch even when they were in receipt of the Record of Service annually attached with Annual Confidential Report starting from 1971
The officer is required to endorse Form cechklist on completion of 20 years of service, para ________ of the Forms asks “have you ever asked for a change in DOB, if so what is your correct DOB?”.
30 Nov 1990
The officer has reflected “NO, my correct DOB is 10 MAY 1951”.
  • Even then no cognizance of this report was taken to correct records by MS Branch
The FIRST ever query on the anomaly on the officer’s DOB as reflected by him in his Annual Record of Service as 10 May 1951 and in Army List as 10 May 1950, was made by, then, Military Secretary on 3rd May 2006.
3rd May 2006
  • The officer has clearly replied that his correct DOB as endorsed in the AG’s Branch records and all other service records is 10 May 1951, which is maintained till date.
The officer was issued with a certificate by AG MP (5&6) on 17 Oct, 2007 that his correct DOB as recorded with them was 10 May 1951.
17 Oct 2007
  • The letter signed by AAG of concerned Branch refers
Once again, Additional General (Manpower Planning and Personnel (MP&P) reflected entire details on record of service if the officer confirming DOB at each stage as 10 MAY 1951.
  • The ADG in his letter has concluded that all recorded endorsements in the documents stated above the DOB of Gen VK Singh is 10 MAY 1951.
January 2008
  • – The letter clearly states that “Record of Service (IAFZ-2041) of every officer on commissioning is forwarded by IMA/OTA to AG Branch (MP-5/6) at Army HQ. It includes all occurrences during office service.
  • – Part-I (Personal Particular) of this documents is filled-up by IMA/OTA to the extent applicable at the time of commissioning. Para 5 of Part-I states “Date of Birth” (as recorded by UPSC or in Sheet Roll).
  • – Interestingly Date of Birth recorded in this Para 5 of Part I is 10 MAY 1951.
Even DOB recorded in all Annual and other Medical Examination Boards is 10 MAY 1951.
Once again DG (MP&PS) at Army HQ Lt. Gen. KR Rao in his Inter Office Note dt 30 Jan 2008 in reply to MS Branch service note dt 28 Jan 2008 mentions correct DOB of the Officer as 10 MAY 1951.
30 Jan 2008
Even then MS Branch failed to correct/reconcile its erroneous records of DOB.
As per Para 136 of Defence Services Regulations (DSR), DOB recorded in Matric certificate is to be taken as correct DOB and the aberration if any in the Record of Service are to be corrected by the concerned record holding authority.
In the instant case the MS Branch failed to rectify their records.
The officer replied to MS Branch query of 3rd May 2006 as at ser 24 above on 10th May 2006
10 May 2006
  • Officer clarified that:-
  • – SSC certificate is the authority of his DOB (10 MAY 1951)
  • – Had forwarded the SSC certificate to Org 3 (AGs Branch) in April 1971.
  • – Consequently his “Provisional” status of Commission was changed to “Permanent”
  • – Made efforts in 1985 to correct the Record of DOB in the Army List to MP-5 and was informed that needful would be done.
  • – Had made another effort in 2002 with MS Branch by sending a photocopy of Matric Certificate to MISO. However, no correction was made in the said DOB erroneously recorded at their end.
MS Branch, vide their letter of 21 Aug 2006 replied that no change in the DOB is possible as the Rules only permit to do so with in first two years of Service.
21 Aug 2006
  • MS Branch grossly erred here and misinterpreted the “Reconciliation DOB” in their Records to “Change in DOB”
The whole controversy emanates from this misinterpretation of the Rules on the subject and has been allowed to willy nilly or otherwise continue till dates.
October 2007
  • Even when AG’s Branch in October 2007 had clarified and confirmed to MS Branch on the correct DOB and 10 MAY 1951, no action was taken by the latter to rectify the mistake committed by them earlier.
In Dec 2007 Min. of Defence asked MS Branch to indicate reasons of recording 10 MAY 1950 as been VK Singh’s DOBwhen he had himself indicated 10 MAY 1951 in his Annual Confidential Records.
14 Dec 2007
  • MOD queries MS Branch for reasons of recording DOB as 10 May 1950 and asks for conduct of inquiry.
MS Branch replied that they had relied upon UPSC application form in which the officer had filled 10 MAY 1950 as his DOB. They also claimed to rely on Army List which they had themselves endorsed with 10 MAY 1950 as his DOB without checking from AG’s Branch (Official Record Holder)
20 Dec 2007
  • The MS Branch once again quoted GOI Office memorandum 21 April 1964 and MoD Memorandum 23 June 1954, under which no change in DOB is to be made after 2 years of commissioning of the officers.
  • Again misinterpretation of Orders since officer was not asking for “CHANGE” but “RECTIFICATION” of mistakes committed by them.
Once again MS Branch asked officer to send all correspondence relating to his earlier requests for “CHANGE” of his DOB.
19 Dec 2007
  • The officer once again replied that he had never asked for a “CHANGE” in DOB, but “CORRECTION” of erroneous records at their end based on Matric Certificate submitted to AG’s Branch and other related documents/reports (ACRs)
Again AG Branch verified that Record of Service received by them from IMA at the time of Commissioning of the officer his DOB recorded is 10 MAY 1951.
Dec 2007
Subsequently on 21 Jan 2008, MS Branch sticking to its previous stand replied that the DOB mentioned in Army List (10 May 1950) will remain to be correct and no change will be affected
21 Jan 2008
  • Once again the Rule of 2 years restriction in change of DOB was quoted – continuous case of misinterpretation of the issue at Hand and Rules on the subject.
The Officer was pressurized by Gen Deepak Kapoor, the then COAS, to admit 10 MAY 1950 as his DOB and accept it in the interest f Service and other officers whose promotion case files are pending in the Min. of Defence for clearance
Through telephonic conversation with COAS he was also assured that once the needful is done the fresh case for correcting his DOB could be effected later.
The Officer accordingly gave this undertaking especially highlighting the same in the “Interest of Service”, hoping for due justice as the matter would be settled as promised.
24 Jan 2008
MS Branch later in their letter dt 28 Jan 2008 made reference of the officer letter saying doubts on the DOB still remain unanswered. It also referred MOD request to carry out detailed inquiry to find out correct DOB in consultation with AG’s Branch. HOWEVER, NO INQUIRY WAS CONDUCTED AND NOTING ON THE CASE WAS FOUND SAYING, “INQUIRY NOT TO BE CONDUCTED”.
Subsequently the Officer in his letter dt 01 July 2008 addressed to COAS, Gen. Deepak Kapoor requesting for Justice to be done in his case and enquired as the constraints by MS Branch which compelled them to maintain his DOB as 10 MAY 1950 despite submitting SSC Certificate in 1974 which recorded 10 MAY 1951 as his DOB.
01 July 2008
It was mentioned in the officers letter that when he met Lt. Gen. Khare and Gen. Gangadharan of the MS Brnach in 2006 and 2007 respectively, he was assured that all necessary reconciliations with regard to the clarification his DOB would be carried out.
The officer then issued letter dt Feb 2009 to MS Branch in response to their letter dt. 15 Jan 2009 to him which had quoted their letter ratified that verification process of DOB by MS Branch did not required Matriculation Certificate, while the same is an accepted authority for the same
Feb 2009
03 June 2009
The officer pointed out that whereas Matric Certificate was an authority, then what is the procedure for MS Branch to verify the DOB?
-MS Branch asserted that it was not responsible to verify the age (DOB) as it was the duty of AG Branch
 Why not reconciled?
Subsequently the officer sent a letter to MS Branch that it was clear from the earlier letter of MS Branch (letter dt 15 Jan 2009)
06 May 2009
15 Jan 2009
To be made with regard to the Omission.
On 25th May 2011 AG’s Branch, once again, certified the DOB of the officer as 10 MAY 1951.
25 May 11
RTI dt 25 Oct 2010 filed by Dr. Kamal Tiwari in MOD for obtaining information on the subject.
25 Oct 2010
14 Feb 2011
Min. Of Law provided opinion on DOB confirming as 10 MAY 1951 (on 14 Feb 2011).
Min. of Def vide their letter dt. 8 May 2011 informed the RTI Querist that DOB of the officer in High School Certificate and Records of AG Brach at Army HQ was same (10 MAY 1951)
08 May 2011
In the same reply Law Ministry informed that there was Omission in Core Branch (MS Branch) and the Ministry of Law & Justice had advised for the necessary corrections.
But, surprisingly the matter was once again referred to Attorney General of India and the Law Ministry.
The News Media has since reported that now Attorney General and Law & Justice Minister have reversed their earlier opinion saying that now the DOB of Gen. VK Singh is 10 MAY 1950.
The entire case smacks of a deeper plot to malign the image of Chief of Indian Army. In spite of solid and legal proof of his DOB the persons behind the scene are not permitting the corrections be made in his DOB that MS Branch had no system for verification of the DOB. He also intimated that he had given acceptance to the DOB (!0 MAY 1950) in good faith at the behest of COAS and not in agreement with the conclusion of the said MS Branch.
Surprisingly MS Branch responded vide their letter dt 03 June 2009 that “THEY WERE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR VERIFICATION OF DOB AS THE SAME WAS CHARTERED AS THE DUTIES OF AG’s BRANCH”
48. May be it is an indirect effort to malign both the Government, Party in Power as well as to tarnish the image of this fine institution “INDIAN ARMY”. Ramifications of not taking the issue to rightful conclusion based on justified action are grave, especially when our enemies are eagerly waiting to dismantle and demoralize our Armed Forces.
49. The Print Media and Electronic Media, so far, have reflected the issue in bits and pieces without giving the complete picture, which has left the masses in doubt so serious that some of them have even raised eyebrows on the personal integrity of the Army Chief.
50. Instant effort, towards clearing all such misunderstandings and doubts and to let the people judge the case on the merits of the case and to know from the facts enumerated above that there are some vested Powers, who are hell bent to destroy the image of our Army Chief and promote some gullible and pliable personalities for the post, are required.
51. Important to Note:-
a) The aberration in DOB was first racked- up when Gen. J.J. Singh was COAS (2006). Interestingly planning for “TWO DOWN COAS” commences when a Maj. Gen. is approved for Lt. Gen. (So called “LINE OF SUCCESSION” after Gen. V.K. Singh drawn then, and has since been talked about and quoted today officially.
b) General Deepak Kapoor, the previous COAS followed the line for vested interests and vigorously pursued the issue at each stage and made allout efforts to malign and belittle Gen. V.K. Singh before his being considered as COAS, and now when so called “LINE OF SUCCESSION” is being firmed-in, the matter has hit the headlines.
c) Lt. Gen. Avdesh Prakash, the then, Military Secretary vehemently pursued the agenda of his Chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor. He is now involved in Sukhna Land Scam and found gilty and dismissed from service without any pension and benefits by a Court Martial.













  1. January 18, 2012 -

    Why item 46 and 47 are missing? Is it typing mistake? What does his passport show?Sundararajan