Army chief age row hits another controversy

Serving officer accuses Gen of spoiling career

In another twist to Army Chief General V K Singh’s age row, a serving officer of the rank of a Major General has accused Singh of allegedly spoiling his annual confidential report (ACR) as he did not change the chief’s date of birth.

The Chandigarh bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal will hear Major General TS Handa's petition in this regard on Tuesday. Maj Gen Handa is presently posted at the Army Training Command in Shimla.

In his petition filed last year in April, Handa said he was then posted as a deputy military secretary with the Army Headquarters in New Delhi when Singh, then at Ambala, had sent his papers to Handa’s branch for change of age.

The case is listed for final arguments on February 14, said sources. Singh had submitted an application to the military secretary branch stating that his date of birth be changed from May 10, 1950 to May 10, 1951.

Handa said the branch did not consider Singh’s application for change of age.  
Handa said despite his outstanding professional record, he was not considered for promotion because of adverse remarks in his ACR by Singh when he was Army commander of Eastern Command. Handa was then the general officer commanding, 57 Mountain Division, in the northeast sector. Handa was blamed for mishandling a case of a woman officer who had developed “suicidal” tendencies while serving in that sector.

Handa had forwarded the matter to the Army Headquarters to post the woman to another area. But, he was blamed for mishandling the case and was given adverse remarks in the ACR which dampened his chances for promotion to the rank of a Lt General.

Talking to Deccan Herald, Col Kohli, the counsel for Major Gen Handa, said the case is listed for arguments for Tuesday. He said he was constrained to divulge much of the details of the case now.

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