VFS staff at the Dutch counter in Singapore told me that I needed pages to face each other "as per Schengen rules", even though their own website as well as the official Schengen code only mention the need for two empty Visa pages (no specific order).
Annoyed and short of time, I asked the Dutch Consulate for help, and they confirmed to me in writing that there is no requirement for pages to face each other - copying VFS asking them to accept my application. When I approached VFS staff again armed with this instruction, they said that they were fine to proceed but potentially I would face problems at time of immigration.
This was a different stance from earlier when they cited numerous cases including business visas which were rejected by the embassy because empty pages did not face each other.
There is probably no type of human being I feel less excited about arguing with than the Passport control people. I chose to be safe and ended up shelling out S$330 to the High Commission of India for an emergency passport renewal. (Thank them for the ONE working day turnaround).
The truth is that these people oftentimes function like they are a law unto themselves, and the VFS guys - even with zero decision making powers -- probably feel a similar privilege.