Indian major told he can marry his Lankan girlfriend

The Karnataka high court has dismissed two writ appeals by the ministry of defence, challenging a decision of the single bench which ruled in favour of an Army Major who wanted to marry a Sri Lankan woman.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen imposed a cost of Rs 75,000 and directed the Army to pay the amount to Vikas Kumar, 35, a native of Bangalore and a Major in the Indian Army, and his girlfriend.

The bench observed that it passed this order restricting itself to jural discipline, and the cost was imposed only because the Army preferred “a second round of petition unnecessarily, in an obdurate manner without any cogent ground”.

“…the world has become a global village; distrust and discrimination against a foreign citizen remains the order of the day. There are several instances where citizens betray their own country. There is no empirical data that a foreign spouse will invariably constitute a weak link in the matter of national security,” the bench observed in its verdict.

Vikas Kumar joined the Army in 2000. He underwent a BE course sponsored by the Army. He is presently working as Major in the Corps of Signals in the northeast part of the country.

On June 29, 2011, Vikas Kumar filed an application seeking release from service, saying he wanted to marry a foreign national who was not willing to give up her nationality. The application was rejected, saying it was “incomplete”.

Vikas Kumar challenged the order in the high court, where a single judge ruled in his favour. The judge had directed the Army to relieve him from the job as per the Army Order (AO) 14/2004 MI, governing ‘Marriage with Foreign Nationals’. (TNN)