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Indian Army chief withdraws age row petition

New Delhi: Indian Army chief General V.K. Singh Friday withdrew his petition demanding that his birth date be treated as May 10, 1951. His lawyer said the dragging row has been “gracefully” resolved.

Gen Singh took back the plea after the Supreme Court warned that it would dump his petition if he did not withdraw it.

Gen Singh’s lawyer, Puneet Bali, said later that Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati’s statement that the government had not questioned the integrity of the army chief was enough to satisfy them.

“The matter has been resolved amicably and gracefully,” Bali told hordes of journalists in the court complex.

He said the army chief had repeatedly maintained that he was fighting for his “integrity and honour” and not to seek an extension of his tenure that ends May 31 this year.

“This was the only battle we were fighting,” Bali said. “The honour and integrity have been restored. It is not about tenure. We are absolutely satisfied.

“Once the attorney general’s statement has been made, nothing remains. We are clear in our mind.
“We do not want to agitate further… It is the end of the matter.”

The army chief went to the Supreme Court Jan 16 insisting that he was actually born on May 10, 1951, and not a year earlier as claimed by the government.

Gen Singh’s counsel U.U. Lalit earlier Friday told Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice H.L. Gokhale that they were no more pressing for the reconciliation of his birth date — as shown in his school certificate.

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