Saturday, January 21, 2012

General Vijay Kumar Singh a true son of the soil

General Vijay Kumar Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC is a third generation officer of the RAJPUT Regiment. An alumnus of Birla Public School, Pilani and National Defence Academy, the General was commissioned in 2 RAJPUT (Kali Chindi) in 1970 and commanded the same battalion with distinction from June 1991 to May 1994. General Singh has seen action in the liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 and Op. Pawan in Sri Lanka in 1987 where he was awarded Yudh Seva Medal. He has vast operational experience in Counter Insurgency Operations, LC, LAC and HAA environment. He has had an illustrious career with outstanding performance.
General Vijay Kumar Singh PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC is the 26th Chief of Army Staff. A highly decorated Officer, he is the 33rd International Fellow and the first Indian Armed Forces officer to be inducted into the United States Army War College International Fellows Hall of Fame. He graduated from the Defence Services Staff College as a Honours graduate of the United States Army Infantry School, topped the Rangers Course at Fort Benning and was inducted into the United States Army War College International Fellows Hall of Fame; the first Indian Armed Forces officer to do so.
General VK Singh’s grandfather fought in the WWI and his father was a Colonel in the Indian Army making him the third generation carrying the tradition forward in the Indian Army. Vijay Kumar Singh comes from Bapora village in Bhiwani district in the Indian state of Haryana and was educated at Birla Public School, Pilani, Rajasthan. General Singh is is the recipient of Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and the wartime Yudh Seva Medal for his distinguished service during Operation Pawan. He topped the Ranger Course at Fort Benning.
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Army Chief Gen VK Singh moved the Supreme Court against the government's rejection of his claim on his Date of Birth.
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Army officer Defrauded: Is Internet Banking foolproof?

Net fraud: Rs 2L siphoned off from Army officer’s account
Shekhar Raj Shekhar, TNN | Jan 21, 2012, 04.52AM IST

NEW DELHI: A lieutenant colonel has alleged that around Rs 1.85 lakh were siphoned off from his account through internet banking. The victim, B B Sharan, 84, said he does not use make transactions through the internet. He further alleged that the accused got his number deactivated on the day of the incident, so that he could not get messages notifying him of the transaction.

Cops said the victim holds the account with a prominent bank. "On December 16, 2011, my mobile phone stopped showing any signal. When I contacted the service provider, he said my SIM card had been reported as lost. I got it changed, but the next day my phone again went kaput. On December 19, around 3.30pm I found my mobile had been activated on the new SIM card and I received an SMS about the transactions carried out on my account," said the victim, who is a resident of the Alaknanda area in south Delhi.

The victim became suspicious after reading the message and contacted the bank's customer-care department for details. "I was told that the money had been transferred through net banking to the account of one Niraj Singh on my instructions. I don't even know how to perform banking operations through the internet," the victim said. Sources said initial investigations point towards the involvement of an insider. He must have asked for his banking PIN through phone banking.

The victim told TOI: I went to the cops but they took no action on my complaint. It was only after the intervention of the addl. CP of the district that a case of cheating and fraud was registered at the CR Park police station."

The victim has requested the cops to investigate the matter and help him get his money back as he is using his savings for meeting his daily needs. Police sources said they are investigating how did the person find the victim's account numbers and the pin codes for these when the complainant himself doesn't know them.
Rs 2L siphoned off from Army officer’s account

Friday, January 20, 2012

Army Chief has a right to retire with dignity

Army Chief has a right to retire with dignity: General VK Singh tells Supreme Court
Press Trust of India, Updated: January 18, 2012 22:07 IST

New Delhi: An Army Chief "has a right to retire with dignity", General V K Singh has pleaded before the Supreme Court while accepting the government's right to determine his tenure. Challenging as "illegal and arbitrary" the rejection of his statutory complaint to Defence Minister A K Antony on December 30, for accepting May 10, 1951 as his date of birth, Genral Singh has said that this was also violated his fundamental rights.

Seeking the quashing of this order, the Army Chief has pleaded in a 68-page petition that the government be directed to treat May 10, 1951 as his date of birth and "grant all
consequential reliefs thereto".

The Army Chief's unprecedented action in dragging the government to court followed the ministry's insistence that May 10, 1950 would be treated his official date of birth and that he would consequently retire on May 31 this year.

In his petition, he has stated that he wished to make it "abundantly clear at this stage" that regardless of the result of the petition or the controversy surrounding his age, the government "has the right to determine the tenure of his office of the Chief of the Army Staff". He stated that the government's action and conduct in refusing to accept his contention on his birth date was affecting his image before the general public and the armed forces.

Referring to the ministry's orders of December 30 rejecting his case, the Army Chief has said that these orders have "conveniently ignored" his matriculation certificate, entire service record including entry into service, promotions and annual confidential reports. He has stated that being a highly decorated officer, he had received all his awards, decorations and promotions as per the date of birth being May 10, 1951.

General Singh has enclosed voluminous documents and records with the petition in support of his stand. However, he has said that in an application dated July 29, 1965 for admission to National Defence Academy (NDA) course he had, as a 14-year school boy, inadvertently filled his date of birth as May 10, 1950.

The General said Military Secretary's Branch (MS Branch), one of the departments of the army, somehow now claims that his date of birth is May 10, 1950 while the same department while processing his name for the gallantry awards reflected the year of birth as 1951. He said the Adjutant General's Branch (AG Branch) being the official record keepers of the Indian Army maintains the year of birth as 1951.

The Army Chief said he had only sought harmonisation of the records of the two departments and his request was erroneously construed as request for change of birth and was wrongly turned down by the two orders. He said he has had impeccable service record and has been decorated for his exemplary and meritorious service. In a service where discipline and respect for seniors is one of the important feature, the controversy has been given undue publicity and coverage in the media.

Citing a judgement of the court in Kochunni verus State of Madras in 1959, General Singh said the court has categorically said that an application under Article 32 of the Constitution cannot be refused merely on the ground that such an application has been made to the Supreme Court in the first instance, without resort to High Court, or there is some adequate alternative remedy available to him. It was further held in that judgement that the right to move the Supreme Court for the purpose of enforcing the fundamental rights itself is a fundamental right.
Read more at: NDTV report
Related Reading
Lack of procedure in determining my DOB: Singh to SC

General VK Singh's uphill task to clean up the system
General Deepak Kapoor may seem like a terrible aberration. But BRIJESH PANDEY finds the rot runs deeper in the army. Caught in action When he was army chief, Gen Kapoor opened his office to wheeler dealers... Read more click here

Comment: The age row is solely the creation of MS Branch who have shamed the Government in connivance with the MOD babus. Instead of correcting the records in consonance with the Adjutant Generals's Branch it has indulged in theatrics to abet the succession plan plotted to aid the corrupt. The Government is duty bound to indentify the mischief makers and bring them to book.

General Deepak Kapoor who is stone deaf confirmed that the Indian army gets blind at night. Presently he is retired with 20% disability! The Raksha Mantri and the Army chief have an onerous responsibility and they must strike to show the troops that corrupt leaders always get their just desserts. The Army is a very big institution and one cannot allow the soldiers morale to be undermined. Thus the case of General Kapoor needs to be handled expeditiously so that an example is set and the office of the Army Chief is never debased in future.
Army chief partially deaf, can't make out words
Adarsh scam: Court of inquiry indicts ex-army chiefs Deepak Kapoor, NC Vij

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wary of setback in SC, govt sends feelers to Gen VK Singh

Published: Thursday, Jan 19, 2012, 9:00 IST
Frantic parleys dominated the day on Wednesday with the UPA government sending feelers to army chief General VK Singh on his age issue Sources told DNA that Union law minister Salman Khurshid along with National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon met Gen Singh to find a solution to the rift between the government and the army chief.

The move comes after the government decided to take a hardline position on the issue following marathon meetings between prime minister Manmohan Singh and defence minister AK Antony on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, however, Khurshid pointed out that announcing the next army chief while Gen Singh’s petition was in the Supreme Court could prove to be a major problem from the government. According to him, an announcement at this stage could easily be construed as contempt of court.

This has put the government in a bind as it had decided to announce the next army chief during discussions that took place on Tuesday. Sources in South Block told DNA that Antony even sought all papers connected to the case as he was worried that the defence ministry bureaucracy could have “misled” him on the issue.

The government has also realised that Gen Singh has a good case in court since he has a birth certificate from Military hospital in Pune as well as a school leaving certificate that records his age as May 10, 1951.

In fact, sources said, the UPSC also raised the issue when Gen Singh joined the National Defence Academy nearly 40 years ago.

However, the documents submitted by Gen Singh as a cadet satisfied the commission and he was allowed to continue with 1951 as his birth year throughout his career. All his promotions were also conducted keeping 1951 as his birth year and even the identity card issued to him by the army headquarters at the time he was commissioned as an officer from the Indian Military Academy mentions 1951 as his year of birth.

The government has also realised that any order from the apex court will have large scale implications. If it wins the case, it could create a major issue since this could put the validity of a birth certificate and a school leaving certificate as age-proof in jeopardy. If the court rules in favour of Gen Singh, it could be an embarrassment even bigger than the 2G case with the international media picking up the story in a big way on Wednesday.

For the last two months, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee was acting as an interlocutor on behalf of the UPA government with Gen Singh. However, a petition filed by the army veterans, the Grenadiers Association, was coming up which could have vitiated Gen Singh’s options to go to court. The Grenadier’s petition was full of basic mistakes which are expected to be rejected by the apex court. To prevent such a prejudice building up, Gen Singh rushed through his petition on Monday morning.
Wary of setback in SC, govt sends feelers to Gen VK Singh

Comment: Is the Honest Defence Minister totally misguided by vested babus?

Congo, Pakistan, and the Indian Army Chief imbroglio

Congo, Pakistan, and the Indian Army Chief imbroglio
Sandhya Jain
09 Jan 2012

The scandalous conduct of some Indian members of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Congo, under the command of the then Major General Bikram Singh, may translate into major embarrassment for India at various international forums if the government abides by a covert ‘line of succession’ hinted by the Attorney General in his rather vacuous ‘opinion’ on the matter.
Islamabad (with helpful nudges from Beijing and other capitals reworking their ‘interests’ in the Asia-Pacific region) can be expected to exploit all propaganda about human rights violations in India – particularly in Jammu and Kashmir – to the hilt.
New Delhi should, in the circumstances, consider if the J&K Government’s decision to demand and continue to push for withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the State has been externally inspired by forces hoping to take advantage of Indian discomfort in the human rights arena.
Pertinent in connection with the ‘line of succession’ school of thought is the fact that the next in the line of succession, Lt Gen Bikram Singh, has a Pakistani daughter-in-law. While the lady may now be a naturalized Indian citizen (like Congress president Sonia Gandhi), the fact remains that Lt Gen Bikram Singh has had Pakistani relatives at critical phases of his service, and will continue to have Pakistani relatives at the peak of his career and beyond. This is not to cast any aspersions on the highly respected soldier, but it would be an understatement to say that the issue is causing grave concern in many quarters.
The Centre would in fact do well to review its whimsical policy on the matter of officers of the diplomatic and military services having foreign wives/spouses. In an era when the intelligence agencies of major nations are actively pursuing their strategic goals, the presence of foreign spouses entrenched in establishments where they have official duties is most undesirable.
As for Congo, it is a blot on the Indian Army’s glorious tradition of valour and gallantry in foreign lands, especially in UN Peacekeeping Missions. In 2007-08, the UN complained of the 6 Sikh Battalion fathering children with “distinctive Indian features,” which were reportedly confirmed by DNA tests conducted by UN in Durla, Congo. The allegations of misconduct cover 12 officers and 39 jawans, who reportedly paid minor girls in North Kivu for sex. The Congolese government further alleged that some Indian peacekeepers, instead of helping to protect civilians from violent militias, fraternized with rebel Tutsi general Laurent Nkunda.
The matter now rests with an army court of inquiry (CoI) in Meerut, which will share its findings with the UN as per rules. Army sources say a separate inquiry is going on against the unit’s commanding officer for failure to maintain discipline.
Chronicle of a Date of Birth: click here
Read More
UN: Tackle Wrongdoing by Peacekeepers

How was Gold and Ivory Smuggled? Through diplomatic bags and cipher couriers? In connivance with unscrupulous MoD bureaucrats and Army Brass- earlier 2 chiefs are accountable? The enquiries will make a scapegoat of a few down the rung "Jawans". The real culprits who smuggled and made illegal money will go Scot free! The Commanding Officer and senior Commanders- The so called UN Peace Keepers must be brought to book. A committee comprising a Brigadier and two Colonels had been tasked to investigate 6th Sikh Battalion. UN has reported involvement of Indian contingents in sexual abuse not only in Congo but also in Sudan, Liberia, Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone. Other than that, Indian soldiers have been involved in smuggling of narcotics and weapons. What is the outcome of the enquiry?

The Nation Survives on the Indian Military- Poor Political Leadership is Demeaning

The portion below in Red sums up the people responsible most for the Government's bungling.
The IAS needs to be reigned in, otherwise it will ruin the future of the Nation. Our Bureaucracy is the worst in Asia as per a survey. What more proof is needed by the politicians to set up a commission to sort the IAS mess.
When we talk of poor Governance, it is primarily the IAS that we are referring to. They are never held responsible for any debacle. For 26/11 no IAS officer was hauled up where as it is they who denied the NSG required weapons, surveillance gadgets etc. In each war India has fought, our Armed Forces have been ill equipped as compared to our adversaries.
They can hold any appointment during service and after retirement. They cannot be proceeded against without Central Govt (IAS big wigs in Delhi), they get the most promotions and best pay packets (which are only a tip as compared to the perks they get and under hand money most of them make).
If India has to make double digit economic growth and corruption has to be brought down, wings of IAS must be clipped.
Harbhajan Singh
Lt Gen

To what depths can our babus sink to besmirch the name of an honest, bold, out-spoken Gen VK Singh? I lay this shameful episode at the doors of our babus. They control everything. Politicians are mere puppets. Yet when this whole sordid saga ends the babus will be not be held accountable !!!
Gp Capt VK Vidyadhar

Related Reading
Army Chief Crisis: UPA & Judiciary equally to blame
Whatever the eventual fate of Gen Vijay Kumar Singh and his petition seeking legal remedy on the issue of his date of birth, the responsibility for driving the glorious institution of the Indian Army and its Chief into this fight rests on the shoulders of the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister, the Cabinet, the UPA supremo + Caucus, and above all, the Supreme Court.
This article expresses the anguish of common citizens who know that the nation survives because of the Indian Army and its peerless soldiers and officers, who often take flak and even sacrifice their lives needlessly because of poor political leadership.
Years ago, the Indian Judiciary was esteemed as the last bastion of hope for the common man in the face of rising corruption in the polity and administration. Today, many feel that the judiciary has belied that trust. The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution rued:
“'Judicial system has not been able to meet even the modest expectations of the society. Its delays and costs are frustrating, its processes slow and uncertain. People are pushed to seek recourse to extra-legal methods for relief. Trial system both on the civil and criminal side has utterly broken down… Thus we have arrived at a situation in the judicial administration where courts are deemed to exist for judges and lawyers and not for the public seeking justice.”
Army Chief Crisis: UPA & Judiciary equally to blame by Sandhya Jain: click here to read more

Army chief age row should be settled in an honourable way

19 Jan, 2012, 05.56AM IST, The writer has posted comments on this article TK Arun,ET Bureau
Even now, it is not too late to douse the controversy eating up the reputation, primarily, of defence minister AK Antony and the UPA government and, secondarily, of the Indian Army. The controversy over the date of birth of chief of army staff Gen V K Singh should be settled in an honourable fashion.

The General, apparently, is more interested in getting his age record straightened out and his name cleared than in how long he stays on as army chief. He has reportedly no problem stepping down when the government wants him to. But the common people do have a problem, for a matter of principle is involved. The matter of principle is straightforward: a plan to anoint a particular person as chief of the army staff besmirching the name of an honourable soldier should not succeed.

If a section of the army brass deliberately got Gen V K Singh's date of birth recorded as May 10, 1950, instead of May 10, 1951, the only reason would be to ensure that Gen Singh retired in time to allow a favoured person to succeed him as the army chief. If Gen Singh's year of birth is 1951, he would retire a year later, and so would the intended successor, leaving the coveted post of army chief to someone else.

The precise identity of the favoured successor and of the successor were Gen Singh to stay on till 2013 is immaterial. The choice of India's army chief should not be determined by a conspiracy. If the civilian government has to establish its authority over the armed forces fully and completely, it is in demonstrating and consolidating this principle, not by insisting it has the writ to determine when someone was born.

If it wants to, the government can ask Gen Singh to go tomorrow, after setting his age record straight; but then, it should follow through by appointing as his successor not the intended beneficiary of a probable conspiracy but someone else.

V K Singh was born in an army hospital. The army keeps records of births and deaths. Army records show that Singh was born on May 10, 1951. His matriculation certificate says he was born on that date. It is in an application form submitted to the National Defence Academy that the 1950 date appears.

The General's case is that the application form was filled by the staff of his school, who made an error. He sought to rectify this error time and again, after he joined the service. This application form was the basis for a wrong date entering his official records.

In a telling comment on the efficiency of administration in the Indian Army, two sets of records were maintained in the army as to his date of birth, one in the Military Secretary's branch and the other in the Adjutant General's office. The Adjutant General's office is supposed to be the official record keeper and the citations accompanying V K Singh's many medals carry the date of birth May 10, 1951.

The MS branch continued with the 1950 date.

This mattered little to anyone till his promotion came up in 2006 to corps commander. Since corps commanders are the guys in the running for the post of chief of the army staff, Singh's date of birth mattered for the line of succession that would be followed.

Singh was virtually coerced into accepting 1950 as the year of his birth by the MS branch. He was told that his promotion was at stake, if he did not accept that date. Gen Singh made a wishy-washy promise to accept whatever was in the organisation's larger interest. This was interpreted by the MS branch to show that he had accepted 1950 as the year of his birth. He got his promotion and subsequently rose to the position of the army chief.

The legal opinion submitted by the Attorney General's office hinged on conflating correction of a mistaken entry as to the date of birth with amending the date of birth. Since amendment is not allowed, the MS Office record had to be followed, the law officer reasoned.

For the same reason, and since Singh had committed to his superior, Gen Deepak Kapoor (subsequently indicted in the Adarsh Housing Scam), that he would accept 1950 as his year of birth, the defence ministry also plumped for 1950 as the year of birth.

These are technicalities that serve to obfuscate the real date when the man was born. The army hospital record and his matriculation certificate are the most authentic documents available on the subject, not some NDA application form. Gen Singh's age was incidental to his promotions, not conditional on them.

As the political leader he is, it was up to Antony to cut through self-defeating technicality and get to the facts underneath. He failed to do so, and even told Parliament that the General's date of birth was May 10, 1950. He is, in the process, colluding in the conspiracy to anoint a particular person as the next chief of army staff.

This, certainly, cannot be his intention. For, Antony is an honourable man (not necessarily in the sense in which another Antony famously used that phrase).

Antony seems to suffer from a morbid inability to wield his political authority. This will not do. It is not his job to keep saying yes to whatever his bureaucrats tell him. He should use his political judgment to sort out the mess that has built up over the General's age.

A sensible course would be to correct mistakes in army records - this is different from altering the records - on Singh's age, ask him to leave and appoint as the next army chief whoever would have succeeded Gen Singh had he stayed on till 2013 or any other competent officer other than the intended beneficiary of a probable conspiracy.

Wouldn't this be injustice to Gen Singh? He would be paying the price for allowing himself to be bamboozled into accepting a wrong date of birth to get his promotion. This is not so important in the larger scheme of things.

Failure on Antony's part to use his political authority at a juncture like this would harm him, his party, his government and our nation.
Army chief age row should be settled in an honourable way

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The ‘age row’ – Coup against the Army Chief

Dear All,
In this article (link given below) written even before the Army Chief went seeking justice to court, the author has raised some very significant questions. He has also hinted at some conspiracy having been hatched behind the closed doors. All said and done, it must be said that the aggrieved general has so far conducted himself with commendable restraint and dignity. Some eyebrows have been raised against the Army Chief' for his seeking the legal remedy. Why should a soldier's right to seek justice raise hackles? After all, he is going to the highly esteemed and honourable Supreme Court which will only uphold fairness of law. In what way is it demeaning? In fact not seeking such a recourse and lumping injustice would be highly demeaning for any upright soldier.

Corruption having made inroads even in the Armed Forces, some vested interests within OGs and Babus in the South Block may have personal grudge to paint such judicious actions as defiance and arrogance but far from being so, General VK Singh's action is absolutely within his legal and bonafide rights with no trace of defiance or arrogance against the Authority which, he feels, has erred in its judgement.

Even the Government and the President of India seek court's legal opinion to tackle various disputes including those involving Govt officials. Therefore, one hopes that the Government would be well advised to face the honourable Court with open mind welcoming its verdict with magnanimity. If it did so, it would be a message to the world that 'Rule of Law' has relevance and respect in an emerging India - world's largest Democracy which has a chance to become world's 'Best Democracy' too.

Why not raise our voice against corruption and injustice wherever we come across the malaise? May Truth alone prevail - but in corruption ridden Kaliyuga it needs your helping hand!
Jai Hind,
The ‘age row’ – Coup against the Army Chief By Karan Kharb

Fake transfer orders finally lands in conviction

Telecom official jailed for forging letter in PM's name to obtain transfer: Press Trust of India, Updated: January 18, 2012 17:51 IST
New Delhi: A former telecom department official has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail for forging letters in the name of the then Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and H D Deve Gowda to get a transfer to Sagar in Madhya Pradesh where his family was staying.

Additional Sessions Judge Narinder Kumar convicted former senior assistant Gurdeep Singh, along with three of his accomplices, noting that he not only forged the letters but faxed them to his seniors in the telecom department in Madhya Pradesh from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) office here to hoodwink them.

The court convicted Singh for committing forgery in collusion with Manoj Kumar, the driver of erstwhile private secretary to Gowda and two NHRC sweepers, Ashok Kumar and Sanjay Kumar.

The four persons had utilised letters written by the two former PMs to the then NHRC Chairman Justice M N Venkatachaliah to "cut and paste" the National Emblem and lift signatures of Vajpayee and Gowda to make a recommendatory letter for his transfer from Chattarpur to Sagar, where his wife, a school teacher, was residing.

The trial in the case saw some top bureaucrats from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the telecom department and NHRC appearing in the witness box and deposing.

The court convicted Singh and sentenced him to three-and-a half year jail term along with Rs. 30,000 as fine considering "all the facts and circumstances, the gravity of the offences and the modus operandi adopted by them in commission of crime, even by going to the extent of forging signatures of the two Prime Ministers of India".
The court also sentenced the other three accused to three years in jail along with a total fine of Rs. 40,000 on them.

Singh along with others had forged two "recommendatory letters" in October 30, 1998 and February 25, 1999 purported to have been signed by Gowda and Vajpayee and sent them to the Chief General Manager (Telecommunication), MP Circle, through fax along with application for transfer from Chattarpur to Sagar Division.

To prove Singh's guilt, the prosecution had examined 25 witnesses which included then Director in the PMO, additional private secretary in the office of two former PMs, the Deputy General Manager (Administration) Telecommunication, MP and officials working at NHRC.

"From the report of the expert and the discussions, this court comes to the conclusion that letters and accompanying application were forged, used and faxed from the office of NHRC, New Delhi to office of CGM Bhopal, as a result of conspiracy between Gurdeep Singh, Sanjay and Ashok Kumar and Manoj to get Gurdeep Singh transferred," the court said.

The court convicted them for offences punishable under section 468 (forgery), 471 (using forged documents), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of IPC.
Telecom official jailed for forging letter in PM's name to obtain transfer

Young officers cheer General V K Singh

Young officers cheer General V K Singh while seniors give guarded response: The writer has posted comments on this article TNN | Jan 18, 2012, 05.21AM IST
New Delhi: Even as many young officers support General V K Singh's apparent challenge of the civilian establishment, senior officers are deeply divided over the Army chief's decision to move the Supreme Court against the government.

Many young officers look at the entire issue as a general's courage to take on the civilian bureaucracy, which usually manipulate and suppress the military. "He is showing courage in taking on the civilian administration. Please do not misinterpret it as a challenge to the political leadership," said a young officer, who believes Gen Singh will win his battle.

Another young officer pointed out that successive civilian bureaucrats sitting in the defence ministry had refused to deal with the military with respect and accommodation, and the age issue was reflective of that larger malaise. "See the way they have treated his demand, sending it for legal opinion, and passing on those AG opinions without any respect for the chief's office," he added.

Such sentiments are palpable across the junior ranks of the military, while at the senior levels, there are much more carefully crafted words when it comes to discussing the chief's move.

A senior Army officer, who has served with Gen Singh for many years, said he didn't feel very comfortable with his move.

"It was a matter in the Army headquarters and that was settled there. Now to drag the entire government into the issue is not a very comfortable thing," he said. The officer pointed out that Gen Singh did not get "justice from his Army superiors and not bureaucrats".

"Once he was appointed as the chief, there was no question of age, isn't it? He should retire on the day the government wants him to retire," said another senior officer.

While some retired senior officers are vocally supporting Gen Singh, many are upset that his effort was also meant to scuttle the possible appointment of Lt Gen Bikram Singh as the next Army chief. Many others shy away from commenting on the issue. Some of the former military chiefs did not want to discuss the issue.

Vice-Admiral (retired) S C S Bangara said the issue was reflective of what was wrong with the civilian-military relations in India.

"If they stop keeping away military chiefs from decision making and carry out the MoD integration as recommended, then such things are not likely to happen. Political leadership will have to learn to deal with military leadership and military problems without depending solely on the bureaucracy," Bangara said.

Another retired general said government needed to make "age irrelevant" for senior level appointments. "You go by merit, and drop these seniority-based appointment of chiefs," he said.
Young officers cheer General V K Singh
The Hindu: Centre files Caveat, explores option to end age row

Why UOI wants Gen VK to retire?
The main issue is corruption at high levels. UOI wants to scuttle and go slow on CBI cases against senior serving and retired army officers involved in corrupt practices. Gen VK singh wants swift action against these officers to improve morale and discipline in the armed forces. Sadly the corrupt, it seems for now, is all- powerful. Adarsh Scam is a sample where it is linked with powerful political figures. Home Minister knows it all- one cannot be punished sans the other- this is the dilemma for UOI. The age controvery is a smoke screen to camouflage the can of worms the UOI is entwined itself with!

How UOI browbeats legitimate entitlements of Soldiers.
Two cases show its face:
1. One Rank One Pension
2. Rank Pay cheated and denied for 20 years and still spinning in the court with litany of lame excuses with intent to defraud.

Rank Pay Arrears still in the Bureaucratic and legal tangle

Should the Cheaters go scot free even after 20 years?
Friday, January 13, 2012

The UOI has suggested another 'spanner' to cause delay in the IV CPC rank pay case.In its affidivit filed the UOI says that the Central Govt is open and willing to constitute an independent commission headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court to examine the correctness of the implementation of the recommendations by IV CPC related to rank pay as given in para 28.113 of its report and to make recommendations for further improvements to the proceedure for disbursement of pension to retired Armed forces personnel based on Govt orders subsequent to VI CPC recommendations


Further it says: Apart from the enormous financial implications, actual implementation of the Hon'ble Court's order would involve the following stages;
(a) Revision of pay of offrs on 1/1/1986, 1/1/1996, and 1/1/2006 with simultaneous revision of all pay linked allowances/benefits.
(b) Calculation of DA on slab basis from 1/1/1986 to 31/12/1995 is time consuming
(c) Revision of retirement benefits (gratuity, leave encashment)of offrs retiring after 1/1/1986
(d) Revision of pension on 1/1/1986, 1/1/1996, 1/1/2006.
(e) Revision of family pension based on revision of pension of offr
(f) Payments to be made to legal heirs of deceased offrs
(g) Interest @ 6 % per annum for upto 24 yrs in each case will have to be calculated and paid.
This would be a protracted exercise taking a lot of time and involving huge manpower as each case will have to be examined/ calculated individually.

RDOA comment
UOI is responsible for this faux pas and should do the needful and pay the officers their legitimate dues. The Court should raise the penalty to 18% for causing unnecessary delays in implementing court orders. Next hearing is due on 18 Jan 2012. A litany of lame excuses by UOI NOT to pay the legitimate dues which works out to an average of Rs 3 lakhs per Soldier sans the interest for 20 years. This amount is peanuts in comparison to scams the UOI is involved in- 2G and CWG are samples!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Amarinder promises one rank, one pension to ex-servicemen

PTI | Jan 15, 2012, 07.18PM IST
MEHALKALAN: With Punjab going to polls on January 30, state Congress President Amarinder Singh on Sunday promised to ex-servicemen that he will ensure that the one rank one pension scheme was introduced.

He said, he had already taken up the matter with the Central Government and hoped it will be implemented soon.

Addressing a function organised by the Punjab Chapter of the Indian Ex-Service League here, Amarinder, himself an ex-army man, regretted that "some bureaucrats sitting in Delhi who had no idea as what it meant to be a soldier were trying to put hurdles in the implementation."

He appealed to the ex-servicemen to help and support the Congress in the forthcoming assembly elections in Punjab.

He said, ex-servicemen are pride of Punjab but unfortunately they have not received their due after retirement or leaving the services of the armed forces.

"An important step in this direction has already been taken with the Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions having recommended one rank one pension scheme," he said, while adding, Congress was committed that the rights of ex-servicemen are protected.

He said, the party will pursue with the Central Government for 100 per cent implementation of One Rank One Pension scheme which will benefit 8 lakh ex-servicemen of Punjab.

Among other things he promised included that ex-servicemen would be exempted from paying toll-tax on the state highways to be constructed on Public Private Partnerships basis, every effort shall be made to remove anomalies of the 6th Pay Commission for Defence Personnel and VAT on all CSD items will be exempted.
Amarinder promises one rank, one pension to ex-servicemen

Mandalised Military like Bureaucracy Murders Meritocracy

Saturday, 14 January 2012
All the Chief's Men: Quotas rule promotions in a “Mandalised” army

These NDA cadets are all equal when they start. But not so when they become officers in various arms. Skewed promotion policies will give many of them an unfair edge over the others. by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 14th Jan 12

Says a senior officer of the mechanised forces who was recently promoted, but sees equally competent compatriots being overtaken by lesser officers: “The Indian army has been effectively Mandalised. The traditional meritocracy of senior rank has given way to a shoddy system of quotas that is placing unconfident and incompetent officers to command troops in battle.”
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All the chief's men
Ajai Shukla / New Delhi January 14, 2012, 0:19 IST

Quotas rule promotions in a “Mandalised” army.
A recent letter, boldly written by a serving lieutenant colonel to the army chief, General V K Singh says: “PROFESSIONAL DISCRIMINATION is upgrading (sic) into SOCIAL DISCRIMINATION. The formidable INDIAN ARMY is developing cracks. What the enemy would have loved to foster, is happening on its own.”

Says a senior officer of the mechanised forces who was recently promoted, but sees equally competent compatriots being overtaken by lesser officers: “The Indian army has been effectively Mandalised. The traditional meritocracy of senior rank has given way to a shoddy system of quotas that is placing unconfident and incompetent officers to command troops in battle.”

People sometimes wonder what drives soldiers in the face of death. The answer, surprisingly, is not patriotism, religion, discipline, bloodlust, or a quest for glory. Instead, most soldiers affirm that a shared brotherhood with their comrades is what drives them through mortal danger. The ones who die do so in the belief that death is better than besmirching the legacy of their unit or sub-unit. “Soldiers live and die for the name of their unit alone,” says Brigadier Virendar Singh who led the assault on the 21,000-feet-high Bana Post above the Siachen Glacier in 1987, one of India’s most stirring military exploits.

Reflecting this philosophy, combat units are structured around the regimental system. Combat arms, which include the infantry (foot soldiers) and the armoured corps (tank men), are all organised into regiments or groups. These include legends like the Gurkha regiment, the Sikh Light Infantry and the Brigade of Guards. The armoured corps has a plethora of famous regiments like 4 Horse, Skinner’s Horse, and 3rd Cavalry. Officers and jawans go straight from initial training into their unit, a tightly-bonded fraternity of 550 to 800 men. For the duration of their field service, they serve with that same unit, imbibing its ethos and character. Their uniform bears its distinctive symbols — cap badges, shoulder titles, belts, flashes and lanyards — which reaffirm their identity. They soak in, and revel in, their unit’s history, its battle honours and the personalities that it produced.
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64th Army Day Celebrations

Why does India still not have a national military memorial?
Published On: January 15, 2012 | Duration: 51 min, 15 sec

As the country marks Army Day, there is perhaps an unprecedented perception of differences between the Ministry of Defence and the bureaucracy at large, and the military. But beyond the controversies, and a perception within the military that modernisation and acquisition of equipment takes far too long, there is a much more basic issue: Why does India not have a national war memorial?
NDTV Video at: Click here

Monday 16 January, 2012.
Army Day being celebrated today

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister A.K. Antony have greeted the personnel of the Indian Army on this occasion.
64th Army Day is being celebrated across the country on Sunday.
Chief of Army Staff, General V.K. Singh, laid a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti in New Delhi to mark the occasion this year.
General V.K. Singh on this historic occasion called upon each of the Army personnel to continue performing their duties with resolve, keeping the interest of the nation and army in the forefront.
He further said that the armed forces are ready to face any challenges.
Army Day is celebrated on 15th January every year in India, in recognition of Lieutenant General (later Field Marshal) K. M. Cariappa's taking over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from Sir Francis Butcher, the last British commander, in 1948.
The day is celebrated in the form of parades and other military shows in national capital as well as all six Army Command headquarters.
Army Day marks a day to salute the valiant soldiers, who sacrificed their lives to protect the country. (SP-15/1)
DD News: Army Day

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Corrupt officers in the armed forces and the civilian bureaucracy want chief's wings clipped

Plot seen in Indian army chief's age row
By Sudha Ramachandran

BANGALORE - India's Chief of Army Staff General Vijay Kumar Singh is at the center of a raging debate. Unlike his counterpart across the border in Pakistan, who is often in the spotlight for his political ambitions, the Indian army chief is caught in a controversy of less import. It is over his age.

The general claims that he is younger than what the country's civilian bureaucracy insists he is.

The spat could culminate in an unseemly civil-military confrontation in the courts, should Singh decide to seek judicial redress. It would be the first time in India's history that a serving army chief has challenged the government that appointed him in court .

A well-respected combat soldier and a brilliant strategist, Singh took over as army chief in March 2010. He maintains he was born on May 10, 1951, a fact supported by over a dozen documents, including his birth certificate, his school-leaving certificate and his passport. This is the date of birth that the office of the Adjutant General, the army's official record keeper, has for the army chief.

But according to records with the office of the Military Secretary, which handles promotions and postings, he was born on May 10, 1950, the date of birth mentioned in his application form for entrance into the National Defense Academy (NDA).

If he was born in 1950 he would have to retire on May 31 this year. If 1951 is his year of birth, he would retire in 2013. The Ministry of Defense has ruled that the army chief's year of birth is 1950 and hence he must retire on May 31 this year.

Singh argues that his term as army chief should end only in 2013. He maintains that the date of birth in his NDA application form is a mistake committed when he was 14 years old, by a teacher who filled in his form on his behalf. He says he had raised the issue of the discrepancy with his predecessors, General J J Singh and General Deepak Kapoor, and asked that the dates be reconciled but that neither acted on his request.

Stinging stories have been leaked to the media by both sides. Bureaucrats in the Ministry of Defense sneer at the army chief's "single-minded determination" to make 1951 his year of birth. They accuse him of petulance and say he is trying to get himself another year at the helm because of the perks and privileges that come with being a general.

They point out that under the rules any discrepancy in the date of birth should be reported within the first couple of years after entry into service. Why didn't Singh settle the issue earlier? He has been accused of fudging his age and of lying.

Singh insists that his honor is at stake; hence the dogged determination to clear his name. The issue is one of personal integrity, not of tenure, he says.

His supporters in the armed forces, both serving and retired, say that this is not just a personal battle between an aggrieved general and a civilian bureaucracy. Singh heads a 1.2 million-strong army. His humiliation will affect the morale of the soldiers as well as the image of the military as an institution.

On the face of it the controversy is over Singh's age. But scratch the surface and other issues emerge - succession, parochialism and corruption.

Obviously, Singh's date of birth and retirement impacts the line of succession. If he retires in May 2012, he would be succeeded by Lieutenant General Bikram Singh, who heads the Eastern Command of the Indian army.

However, if Singh retires next year, Lieutenant General K T Parnaik, who currently heads the Northern Command would become the army chief. The succession plan would be thrown out of gear should Singh resign in the next few months. If Singh's tenure is not completed, Lieutenant General Shankar Ghosh, who heads the Western Command, could succeed Singh.

Sources in the army say told Asia Times Online that back in 2005-2006, the then army chief General J J Singh insisted that V K Singh accept 1950 as his year of birth. The logic behind the move was apparently to ensure Singh's retirement as army chief in May 2012, clearing the way for Lieutenant General Bikram Singh, a Sikh like General J J Singh, to become the army chief.

If there is truth to this allegation, it is a worrying development as the Indian armed forces have held true to secular principles.

Analysts have also drawn attention to General V K Singh's tough stance on fighting corruption in the armed forces. It may be recalled that in 2008 when a scam involving transfer of 71 acres [28.7 hectares] of land adjacent to the Sukna army camp in West Bengal was transferred to a private educational trust, it was General V K Singh, then lieutenant general heading the Eastern Command, who dug in his heels to ensure that the role of General Avadesh Prakash, a close aide of the then army chief General Deepak Kapoor was unearthed.

Singh went against the wishes of Kapoor, who wanted only administrative action taken against Prakash and others, to insist on a court martial.

What does this have to do with General V K Singh's date of birth? In 2008, when army headquarters formally accepted 1950 - the year recorded by the Military Secretary as Singh's year of birth - the military secretary was Lieutenant General Prakash.

Singh has also promised stern action against all army officers who benefited from the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society, which was meant for army widows. Among those who could face punishment is Kapoor.

Clearly, there are many powerful people in the armed forces and the civilian bureaucracy who would like to see Singh's wings clipped, his tenure shortened and his credibility undermined. The confusion over his date of birth came in handy to them.

With the Defense Ministry rejecting Singh's statutory complaint to consider May 10, 1951, as his date of birth, the army chief has exhausted in-house remedies available to him. He can approach a court of law which can either be the Armed Forces Tribunal or the High Court.

When he filed the statutory complaint with the Defense Ministry, Singh became the first chief of the Indian army to do so. Should he take on the government in court, it will be another first to his credit (or discredit).

The government will be hoping that Singh will not go to court. It is believed that is working on a compromise solution.

Meanwhile, a new problem has surfaced with regard to who should succeed him. Frontrunner Lieutenant General Bikram Singh, it appears, was involved in a "fake encounter", or staged shooting, in Anantnag in Kashmir in 2001. A case has been filed in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. The past is coming back to haunt India's likely new army chief.

Sudha Ramachandran is an independent journalist/researcher based in Bangalore. She can be reached at
Plot seen in Indian army chief's age row

Prabir Goswami · DSSC Wellington
What a pity that the media is looking at this while the Govt is not even looking at other issues, like the following:
1. No talk of appointing a CDS.
2. Go slow on Army modernization.
2. All promotion boards of Brigs & above unusually delayed.
3. Go slow on OROP for Offrs.
4. Go slow on empanelment of various hospitals for ECHS, 124 applications pending since Feb 2010.
5. QD from CSD not being paid back to fmns & units as hithertofore.... Deposited with Consolidated Fund of India for allocation to various NGO's like NEHRU FOUNDATION, SONIA MUSEUM, INDIRA TRUST, RAJIV BANK, RAHUL COOPERATIVE, VADRA BROTHERS, PRIYANKA PARLOURS ETC ETC, for the last two years.
6. No cars through CSD for service pers unless approved by an application from QMG. Same facility is available to all police pers through Police canteens.
7. All civilian Directors & above in MOD authorized individual DD staff cars with service drivers whereas Maj Gens & equiv posted in A/N/AF HQ have to requistion & share cars.
8.All civilian Directors & above in MOD authorized treatment in R&R but ESM are turned away.
9.All civilian Directors & above in MOD authorized CSD facilities including Liquor.


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