Gurkhas to continue campaign after losing London High Court pensions ruling

Posted By: Staff
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London, Jan 12 (ANI): Gurkha veterans, who lost a test case against Britain's Ministry of Defence over pension rights at the High Court in London, have vowed to continue campaigning.

Monday's ruling is a blow to the veterans from Nepal after the Government last year granted them the right to settle in Britain, The Times reports.

The action was brought by the British Gurkha Welfare Society, which says that 24,000 veterans who served in the British Army before 1997, and their dependants, receive only a third of the normal payments, which it is set to appeal.

"It is very regrettable that the Gurkhas were yet again forced to take the British Government to court and disappointing that we did not win the case, though we have understood that this was not likely to be the end of the road," Chhatra Rai, the general secretary, said.

"This is above all a moral issue as veterans in this group are becoming old and fragile and do not have the level of English necessary to find a job. Most of these Gurkhas are therefore not able to work to supplement their pension."

Major Tikendra Dal Dewan, chairman of the society, said that unless overturned the judgment would turn out to be far more expensive than paying the 24,000 their pension rights in the first place.

Many of the veterans "live in very impoverished conditions. They are likely now to come to live in the UK. If 10,000 to 15,000 come here, that could cost the Government 300-400 million pounds. Paying the pension rights would cost an estimated 74 million pounds." (ANI)

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