Gurkhas drag Brown Government back to court; win right to stay in UK

March 27th, 2009 - 12:22 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar.27 (ANI): Gurkha veterans, who have fought wars for Britain, will be given the right to stay in this country following a “legal first” in which the High Court had to enforce its own ruling against the Government.

The news came as the Gurkhas returned to court to enforce a legal victory they won last September, when a High Court judge ruled that the Government’s existing immigration policy excluding them was unlawful.

The court heard that in the hiatus since the September ruling a number of veterans had died waiting for resolution of the case. The most recent was Rifleman and Victoria Cross awardee Prem Bahadur Pun, who died on March 15.

According to The Telegraph, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has been forced to abide by a High Court order that will give the former soldiers from Nepal who served in the British Army the right to apply to settle in Britain.

She is expected to make the announcement to Parliament in three weeks, the court heard.

Gurkha campaigners described today’s return to the courts as “a legal first” in which a litigant had to return court to enforce a judgment against a Secretary of State.

Surrounded by Gurkha veterans, David Enright, a solicitor representing the veterans, said: “The Government has delayed month upon sorry month, allowing your fathers to die while their sons served in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Government has had to be shamed, kicking and screaming, back to court again.”

Six claimants brought the case to challenge the lawfulness of the Government policy that Gurkhas who retired prior to July 1997 - the date that the Brigade of Gurkhas moved its base from Hong Kong to Britain - did not have the necessary “strong ties” to be allowed entry.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The revised guidance is currently under consideration and will be published by April 24.(ANI)

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