Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday defended the government’s choice of General Bipin Rawat as the new Army cheif, saying if seniority were the only criterion for appointment, then computers would have been able to pick a service chief, reported PTI.

“There would be no requirement of any raksha mantri [defence minister], there would no requirement of a Cabinet Committee on Appointments, because then it is a computer job. [A person’s] Date of birth decides who becomes general,” he said Parrikar insisted that the selection had been made based on the contenders’ performances, and due procedure was followed.

Rawat was appointed Army chief in December, superseding two senior officers – Lt General Praveen Bakshi and Lt General PM Hariz. Several officers and Opposition parties had questioned the appointment over two seniors. The Congress had called the appointment “whimsical cherry picking”. However, the government had said the “most suitable” officer was chosen, urging the Opposition not to “play politics” over the appointment.