British Gurkha soldiers lose case over discriminatory pay

KATHMANDU: The British Gurkha Welfare Society on Thursday lost a case it had filed at the European Court of Human Rights claiming they were discriminated in terms of pay in comparison to other nationals of the British Army.

"The European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been: no violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) read together with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) to the European Convention on Human Rights," a press release issued by the Court Registrar informed, "The Court considered that any difference in treatment on grounds of nationality had been objectively and reasonably justified."

"In particular, the cut-off point, 1 July 1997, for different treatment of accrued pension had not been arbitrary as it represented the transfer of the Gurkhas' home base to the UK and therefore the point in time from which the Gurkhas had started forming ties with the country," the statement added.

Two retired Gurkha soldiers, namely Tikendra Dewan and Subarna Adhikari, and the British Gurkha Welfare Society, an NGO working for retired Gurkhas, had filed the case claiming their pension entitlements had been less favourable than those of non-Gurkha soldiers in the British Army.