Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (retd) V K Singh, who as Army Chief was embroiled in a prolonged legal battle with the then government over his age issue, today became a butt of sarcasm in Lok Sabha when Congress leader Shashi Tharoor took a dig at him.
Tharoor was speaking on Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, which provides for treating boys aged 16 and above at par with adults for punishment for heinous crimes like rape. He was opposing the move to reduce the age for trial as adult from 18 years to 16 years and said that it was not easy to determine age of a person.
“If you doubt me, then ask General V K Singh and he will explain to you how it works,” he said, taking a dig at the former Army Chief who was present in the House.
Though Tharoor did not elaborate, he was apparently referring to Singh’s prolonged legal battle over the issue of his age when he was the Army Chief four years back.
Singh had two dates of birth in his official records with a difference of one year — one showing May 10,1950 and another May 10,1951.
He contended that his actual date of birth was May 10, 1951, by which he could have got 10 months more in service. However, the government treated 1950 as his birth year, challenging which he went to the Supreme Court. He lost the legal battle in the Apex Court.
Tharoor earlier said there were no standards for determining the age of a child.
“They are exremely abysmal..It is a question of guess-work as to how old they are,” he said, adding “many Government and Municipal Schools often record the age based on physical appearance of a child, and the children who would be immediately affected by this law.