Gurkha soldiers from Nepal have won the right to take a case alleging racial
discrimination against the British Government to the High Court.
The Gurkhas are claiming discrimination in at least 20 different areas –
including pay, pension, religion, dress code and living conditions – while
serving with the British Army. In May, lawyers for the soldiers filed for
damages at the High Court in a claim, which if successful, could cost the MoD
up to £2bn.
Phil Shiner, a solicitor with the Public Interest Lawyers group, which is
acting for the Gurkhas, told Personnel Today a decision from the High Court
could be made before Christmas.
The Gurkhas are to present 20 test cases, and claim that 30,000 Nepalese
retired from service without the pensions they should have received, and that
widows were not properly compensated for their loss. The case is to be argued
by Prime Minister Tony Blair’s wife, Cherie Booth.