Army chief’s age issue sensitive: PM

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    New Delhi, (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday conceded that the controversy relating to the age of army chief General V.K. Singh was “sensitive” and refused to express his views on it.

    “It is a sensitive issue. I do not want to comment,” Manmohan Singh said on the sidelines of a function to release a book chronicling the history of ‘The Tribune’ newspaper.

    He was responding to a reporter’s query on the army chief’s age row.

    The prime minister’s reaction comes four days after Gen. Singh sued his government in the Supreme Court over rejection of his statutory complaint for rectification of official records to show his date of birth as May 10, 1951, instead of 1950.

    A public interest litigation on the age row filed by an ex-servicemen’s outfit is coming up for preliminary hearing before a Supreme Court bench Friday.

    Earlier in the day, Gen. Singh met Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju. This meeting comes a day after Raju said the court case filed by the general had set an unhealthy precedent and did not augur well for the government or the armed forces.

    There was no word on what transpired between the two. Speculation was rife in South Block circles that it was for the two sides to clarify their respective positions vis-a-vis the court case filed by the army chief.