Justifying the government's action in seeking a second legal opinion from the Attorney General on Army Chief General V K Singh's age row, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Friday said it was done in view of fresh material and points coming up on the issue.
"As far as we know, his (AG's) legal advice was sought again as some new things had come up on the issue and placed before him. When an opinion is sought for the second time, naturally fresh material and points are put forth the Attorney General. In view of that, a second opinion is often sought, which must have been done," said Soni.
Soni's justification comes in the wake of the Supreme Court questioning the government's action of seeking the Attorney General's opinion for the second time on the issue. The court has deferred the hearing in the case pertaining to the army chief's age row to February 10.
Soni maintained that the Attorney General is the highest authority to give legal opinion to the government and appealed to the political class to adopt restraint while commenting on the issue and not involve the forces in settling political scores.
"My appeal to political colleagues across the board is that we all have high esteem for the armed forces without exception. And, I think at this stage also, we political people must also bring some restraint on our reaction so that we do not involve the armed forces in our political scuffle," said Soni.
She said that the armed forces have always played a role which has been admired, appreciated and held in high regard by people of this country, even as traditionally, as a matter of principle, the armed forces have kept themselves totally away from any kind of political opinion or bias.