October 21, 2020
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Getting Particular

Today's hearing of Supreme Court in the case of Gen V.K. Singh’s date of birth (DOB) is the first sign of government machinations getting exposed...

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Getting Particular
PTI Photo/ Shahbaz Khan
Getting Particular

Today's hearing of Supreme Court in the case of Gen V.K. Singh’s date of birth (DOB) is the first sign of government machinations getting exposed. The defence minister saying the problem is making of Army Headquarters is so true, but how does he absolve himself and his staff in ministry of defence (MoD) of complicity?

A dispassionate analysis makes the following abundantly clear:

  • How does the Military Secretary (MS) in 2006 fish out a UPSC application (of which MS branch is not custodian) and illegally change the DOB of Gen V.K. Singh in the Army List without authentication by Adjutant General (AG —official authority for record of service of army officers) and disregard the fact that the UPSC itself accepted the DOB as 10 May 1951? On whose instigation did the MS take such actions? Was it his Chief—Gen J.J. Singh or someone higher? Who is the fellow who dreamt the ‘Line of Succession’ to be implemented in 2012 and more importantly, what were his motives and compulsions?
  • Was the Army List giving the illegally changed date of birth of Gen V.K. Singh from 10 May 1951 to 10 May 1950 published with the approval of Gen J.J. Singh?
  • Beyond 2006 and particularly in 2008, what were the compulsions of the MS to continue ignoring ‘reconciliation of age’ requests by Gen V.K. Singh? What were the instigating factors— Gen J.J. Singh, his successor Gen V.K. Kapoor or someone higher up? Why did Gen Deepak Kapoor ring up Gen V.K. Singh to submit the famous certificate "…. in organizational interest" on the plea that a whole lot of promotion cases are held up with MoD, promising at the same time that he would ensure "reconciliation of age" within 30 days when he as Chief could have resolved the issue within Army HQ in 30 minutes by summoning the MS and AG? What were the compulsions of Gen Deepak Kapoor? Were his actions on his own volition or was he being pressured to do so, and if so by whom and for what purpose?
  • Both Gen J.J. Singh and Gen Deepak Kapoor were aware as Chiefs that AG is the authority for service record of army officers. Why did these two Chiefs not take the advice of their respective AGs? Was this by design? What were their compulsions and / or pressure from higher level that led them to disregard established service rules and norms?
  • Mr Bimal Julka, Joint Secretary (G) MoD disagreed with MS Branch regressing DOB of Birth of Gen V.K. Singh from 1951 to 1950 and ordered a joint MS-AG inquiry, on which Army HQ endorsed ‘INQUIRY NOT TO BE HELD’. What were the compulsions of Gen Deepak Kapoor or his MS in making such endorsement? What were their compulsions in ignoring the AG even after such MoD directive?
  • Why did the new JS(G), MoD agree with the original line of MS affixing DOB of Gen V.K. Singh as 10 May 1950, ignoring observations of Mr Bimal Julka? What were his compulsions? Was he a co-conspirator in the Line of Succession Conspiracy?
  • Why did MoD swallow the line of MS that a detailed examination has been carried out in the case of DOB of Gen V.K. Singh when MoD had specifically ordered a joint inquiry? Why was an explanation not asked and why wasn’t a report of the ‘detailed examination’ asked for? If the order was for a joint MS-AG inquiry then the report should have been signed by both MS and AG, failing which, why did MoD not ask for views of the AG? Wasn’t this by design? Was the compulsion complicity in the ‘Conspiracy of 2012 Chosen Line of Succession’?
  • Why did the Attorney General talk of “Change of DOB” when Gen V.K. Singh had only petitioned for ‘reconciliation of age’? Did MoD deliberately send him a ‘doctored’ noting as alleged in an open letter to the Prime Minister by Dr Swamy circulating on the web? Is any more proof required of complicity of MoD officials? What were the compulsions of concerned MoD officials to do so?
  • Why is the defence minister trying to absolve the complicity of MoD officials in the conspiracy to retire Gen V.K. Singh in May this year? Was he taken for a ride in making a Parliament statement of Gen V.K. Singh’s DOB as 10 May 1950 and thereafter took the option of reinforcing the lie or is there a larger game plan to which he must submit?

It is pathetic to see some veterans trying do down Gen V.K. Singh in TV debates when the facts are abundantly clear. But then so are the motives of these gentlemen. It is surprising to see how some are prepared to take individual friendship with demons / devils to any level—even down the sink hole and also at the same time talk of propriety, morals and ethics. Take the case of an ex Army Commander who surely knows someone called Pran Nath whose own bank account was sealed last year under the 400 crore Citi Bank Fraud and whose grandson is still in jail. Such guys would be well advised to look themselves in the mirror, double lock their cupboards and remain underground before skeletons come tumbling out. Their repeated emphasis that Gen V.K. Singh should resign are obvious tactics to keep the ‘chosen line of succession’ still going. Examination of their compulsion could well come up with some startling revelations—beyond friendships.

An upright soldier like Gen V.K. Singh will certainly resign if his petition is rejected. On the other hand, if he wins the case (which he logically should) there is absolutely no reason for him to resign. The finance minister should stop dangling carrots. There is still time till 10 Feb for the defence minister to accept he was misled and accept the DOB of Gen V.K. Singh as 10 May 1951. If he does not and Gen V.K. Singh wins his case in Supreme Court, is there any reason why the defence minister should not resign?

Readers can decide who the Demons / Devils and Jackals are. If the former go unpunished, it would be a systemic failure in reinforcing this devilish conspiracy and preventing recurrence. The jackals have been howling about the army being affected. Actually, the entire nation is affected, albeit the mafias are for a different reason. The Army is not just one service of the military but more than 85 percent of the military. You just cannot treat an Army Chief like this. Those who continue to support the conspiracy against the Army Chief are no less than enemies of the state.

Lt Gen Prakash C. Katoch, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SC is a Special Forces veteran of the Indian army

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