Contempt move against Gen Singh in SC, J&K House

Contempt move against Gen Singh in SC, J&K House

Former Army chief Gen V K Singh found himself in fresh trouble as the Supreme Court decided to take up a suo motu contempt petition on Tuesday against him over a comment he had made in a newspaper interview against the SC verdict on his date of birth case.

The development comes on the day when the National Conference (NC), the ruling party in Jammu & Kashmir, moved a breach of privilege motion against Gen Singh in both houses of the state Assembly on the inaugural day of the autumn session.
An apex court bench of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale has taken cognizance of a news report published in the “Indian Express” newspaper on September 22. The case title in the case list read as “In Re news item V K Singh says Omar has an agenda, attacks SC’s decision on his age row”.

The court on February 10 put an end to the controversy over the General’s age by declaring that his date of birth would remain as May 10, 1950, in service records as claimed by government.

It then convinced Singh’s counsel senior advocate U U Lalit to concede the ground by noting in its order that he did not “wish to pursue the petition” seeking declaration of his date of birth as May 10, 1951.

In a recent interview, Gen Singh was reported to have criticised the SC by raising a question as to why his matriculation certificate was not considered in determining his age.

Meanwhile, the privilege motion moved by the NC in the Lower House of Jammu & Kashmir legislature, a copy of which is with Deccan Herald, said: “The statement of General Singh is not only untrue, unfounded and unsubstantiated. But it has been made by him as part of a larger plan of deprecating, defaming and vilifying the state politicians in general and the minister in the present government in particular.”
The motion has been signed by all the ministers belonging to the NC and also by some former ministers of the party.

“The generalised statement of Gen Singh has created a perception in Jammu and Kashmir that Army is the de facto ruler in the state and the elected representatives are merely pawns in the hands of Army. This perception damages the very edifice of democratic institutions particularly the J&K State legislature,” the motion further adds.
The ministers added that suspicion created among people by the allegations of General Singh has made it difficult for them to carry on their routine political and government activities.

Claiming that the prima facie case of breach of privilege has been made out by General Singh’s statement, the NC ministers urged the Speaker to refer the motion to the Committee of Privileges for investigation under Rule 238 with Rule 241 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the J&K Assembly.

The motion comes in the backdrop of allegations by former army chief that army has been paying money to state ministers since 1947, for “winning people’s hearts.”

Assembly Speaker Mubarak Gul confirmed that his office received the privilege motion against former army chief, and the order would be passed shortly. Earlier, while speaking during obituary references, senior NC leader and Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather said that General Singh had damaged the image not only of the Indian Army, but also of the country internationally.

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