Gurkhas lose battle for equal pension rights at European Court

Gurkhas lose battle for equal pension rights at European Court

Former Gurkhas have lost their appeal for equal pension rights at the European Court of Human Rights.

The British Gurkha Welfare Society (BGWS) had filed two separate cases against the British government at the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that all former Gurkhas should be entitled to pension rights equal to any former servicemen and women from British army.

The court based in Strasbourg, France, upheld the earlier decision made by British government, saying that the British government acted lawfully and there was no breach in Gurkhas’ human rights.

The Grand Chamber concluded the hearings on the case that began since Tuesday on Thursday.

The BGWS was fighting a legal battle seeking equal pensions for the former Gurkha veterans who retired before 1997. According to the current rule of British government, only the Gurkhas who served after July 1st 1997 are eligible for equal pension rights.

The ruling is likely to affected hundreds of Gurkha families living in Kent, Hampshire and Berkshire.

The Gurkhas have been fighting for greater pension rights to former Gurkhas after the British government agreed to allow Gurkhas who had served four years or more in the British army before 1997 to settle in Britain. The battle for equal rights of UK residence was championed by actress Joanna Lumley.

Source: The Kathmandu Post