KATHMANDU, Jan 21: A verdict by a British court on Monday has paved the way for some 30,000 family members of former British Gurkha servicemen to get residential visas. The court has ordered the UK government to grant residential visas to the offspring of British Gurkhas above 18 years of age.
"More than 30,000 Gurkha families will benefit directly," said Mahendra Lal Rai, general secretary of GAESO, adding that this was a historic victory.
An earlier court verdict issued with the structure of the western family in mind had separated members of Gurkha families from one another, and it ran against the joint family structure to be found in Nepal.
"The verdict also favors respect for human rights," reads a press statement issued by GAESO on Monday.
The law firm Ho and Ko Solicitors had filed a petition demanding residential visas for British Gurkha family members above 18 years, the statement adds.
The statement further said a senior judge of the ´Court of Appeal, The Masters of the Rolls´ issued the verdict.
British Gurkha families had gotten residential visas on May 21, 2009 after a long struggle. But it was only for offspring under 18. GAESO had filed a case against the decision, arguing that it was unfair.
GAESO has been fighting for 22 years for facilities on par with the rest of the UK army. GAESO won a victory on the issue of equal pension and other facilities.