The Army Chief case: The Supreme Court will show its hand today - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

Home Top Ad


Thursday 9 February 2012

The Army Chief case: The Supreme Court will show its hand today

Army Chief in the Supreme Court (the building pictured here). The battle with the Defence Ministry will be rejoined today. Broadsword brings you updates

Am heading off in a couple of hours to the Supreme Court. Today the government will file its response to the choice that the Supreme Court gave it exactly a week ago: the Honourable Justices observed that the Defence Minister's rejection (on 30th December 2011) of General VK Singh's petition for his date of birth to be recognised as 10th May 1951 appears to be bad in law, since it was based on the Attorney General's legal advice. That advice had "vitiated" Mr Antony's ruling, because the army chief was petitioning again an earlier MoD rejection (on 22nd July 2011) of his birth date request that had also been based on legal advice given by the Attorney General.

This, the judges observed, appeared to be procedurally incorrect because the Attorney General was allowed to influence the ruling on a petition that was directed against a ruling that had been based on his legal advice. This was a conflict of interest.

And so the Supreme Court had given the government a week to decide whether to withdraw Mr Antony's ruling and go back to the 22nd July 2011 position.

According to inside reports, the government has decided to back Mr Antony's rejection of 30th December. And so, the Supreme Court will probably decided today to hear the case and call for a written response from the government.

Stay tuned for updates.


  1. Hello, Shukla. A minor, technical point about your blog.

    The sword you display prominently in the masthead is not really a broadsword. It is a longsword.

  2. Sir,

    Just saw the supreme court judgement. This is travesty of justice! Am a civilian and my blood is boiling! We commoners are with the good General, ask him not to lose heart please. All of us would be willing to sacrifice our careers and join him on the streets if he is willing to lead us for a revolution. He is my hero! -- Now the decks are cleared for another General Deppak Kapoor to be appointed by the government. Hail Mussolini!

    A Citizen from Bangalore

  3. Who eats the crow now???
    Only advice from a humble reader and follower of your writings that a senior and respected person should put both sides of picture and not biased, as in this case MOD.

  4. the dead crow falls on the sword and dents its now it is holy cow

  5. Army chief got promotions based on the fact that he was born 1 year before and at every level he kept quiet about his DOB. But now why it became an issue?..I think that is what Supreme Court is asking. I think there was no issue of integrity and honour in the first place to begin with. His honour and integrity increased and recognized when he was made the Army Chief. And now, by asking him to retire based on DOB which he all along never questioned till now, would not harm his integrity or honour.

    Sudheendra S

  6. @akanthony

    Its broadsword not longsword....and i enjoy the content of this responsible blogger.

  7. The Supreme Court made the points many have made in the comments section of this blog, including myself.

    I tend to agree a lot with Mr Shukla. His previous post that the Higher Judiaciary in our country is a force for good was very prescient.

    Pity you need the country's best judges to tell the Army Chief his case had no locus standi.


    Finally the last respected institutions, the Indian Army and the Supreme Court have fallen prey to Congress politics.

    We live in an environment of, "HEIL CONGRESS". Democratic India is the biggest joke on earth, cause it involves 1 billion plus population of the globe. All of them suffering from this disease called, "Democracy in India RULED by Congress (DIRC syndrome)"

  9. probably the current chief of army wouldn't have become the army chief if we took 1951 into consideration.

    why moan when retiring and enjoy when being promoted.

  10. How could such a person - become chief of govt (people) funded service who could not visualize that there would be questions regarding his previous acceptance of the older dob. Not withstanding stupid grandstanding by some people in NDTV that he is not 'gandhi' (It would be a good post to learn of what impression gandhi carries for you) and he gave way at some point and now he is giving back ... Thank god you said to barkha that u are no longer an army officer but actually a journalist.

    I am sure this same person would have selected ppl who resemble his character and they would head the service in near future.

  11. Well, the matter is settled.
    However, as a layman following questions remain
    1. If the previous COASs were clear that DOB was 1950 then why take the undertaking from gen vk singh?
    2. When the case went to the MoD for promotion, why did not the MoD question decision of DOB by the previous chiefs based on a undertaking from an officer. The MoD should have asked chiefs to base their judment on legally tenable documents rather than accepting the undertaking.
    3. Whose responsibility is it to get the records corrected from UPSC, if there is an error. As a common man, one probably can only write through proper channel for correction? If it does not correct, then isthe common man responsible for it?

  12. Dear Colonel,

    This is one isn't a comment :-)

    I have been a quiet follower of your blog from quite some time and I am a fan.

    Wish to say 'Thank you' for such wonderful articles and the passion you put in for all of this.

    Also, I can't watch you on NDTV because my cable-waala has not subscribed to NDTV. Would be grateful if you could publish a web-link for these videos.

    Best wishes,

  13. dannyboy calling broadsword...
    was today eagerly awaiting your take/analysis on the supreme court judgement which you went to see personally.
    however got to read a very well written piece on the MMRCA.
    now looking forward to your piece on the coas
    over and out

  14. The General deserved a slap on his face and a kick on his butt. Shame on these people talking about integrity & stuff.

  15. The SC has shown its hand Shukla Ji, or shall I say shown the middle finger to Gen. VKS. Time for him to put in his papers.

  16. So will there be a coup now? I know coups are more prevalent in Pakistan than in India, but the two countries have quite a bit in common, including a populace that is disenchanted with corrupt democratic governments.

  17. As I said earlier this issue was also a litmus test of judicial redressal system. Now that the court has shown its middle finger to the good general, it's a clear message to the aam aadmi that no institution exist anymore where common mortals can seek justice. The general needs to excuse himself from the mess, the country including the 4th largest army of the world has gone to the dogs.

  18. There is a purely fundamental issue involved here. Is or is there not a law in the country that requires that all official records state the truth? Can there be a Government record which states a day has 23 hours? Can such a record have official and judicial sanction?

    Let's forget about honour, justice, dignity, individual 'A' or 'B'. There is simply a requirement to understand that here is a classic 'Yes" or 'No', a "True" or 'False' option in the matter of a DOB.

    If a person is born on a certain date, his birth certificate and matriculation certificat say so, how does it matter what the UPSC record states, who made the mistake, who gave an undertaking.

    It would be nice to learn from legal luminary how an official record can state 'day' is 'night' or 4=5.

  19. I always used to wonder what that building was. Must start seeing the picture books again.


Recent Posts

Page 1 of 10412345...104Next >>Last