Army chief age row: Antony denies differences

New Delhi: Making it clear that there is "no strain" in the relationship between his ministry and the Army following Gen. V K Singh`s age row, the government today said the country cannot afford to have more such "controversies".

"There is no strain… Now what we are going to do hereafter in all armed forces as a whole is that we will ask everybody to strictly reconcile different documents so that this kind of conflict of views does not happen in future," Defence Minister A K Antony said here.

The minister was asked if there was any strain in the ties between the Defence Ministry and the Army after the developments in the Supreme Court where Gen Singh withdrew his petition against the government on the age issue.

"We have learnt lessons from it. This is a closed chapter now. This happened unfortunately due to two dates of birth in the Army… India can not afford to have such controversies in the future," Antony said.

The Defence Minister said the issue was a "closed chapter". It should not be raked up again, he said. Recently, the Defence Minister had said that he had full faith in the Army chief.

The Supreme Court had held on February 10 that the government`s decision on Singh`s date of birth as May 10, 1950, will apply to his service matters, forcing him to withdraw his plea contending that he was born a year later.