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Updated: October 31, 2012 09:12 IST

Soldier goes to court to marry girlfriend

Special Correspondent
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All is fair in love and war. File Photo: V. V. Krishnan
The Hindu All is fair in love and war. File Photo: V. V. Krishnan

Army won’t let him quit to get hitched to Sri Lankan national

Will Major Vikas Kumar of the Indian Army be able to marry his Sri Lankan girlfriend Arnila Ranamali Gunaratne who is pursuing her M.Phil. in Bangalore?

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vkramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna, of the High Court will soon decide on the order of the Indian Army, which had rejected the 34-year-old’s request to cast away his uniform so that he can marry a foreign national.

As Army rules don’t permit personnel to marry those who loath to give up their foreign citizenship, Major Kumar, an officer with Corps of Signals, decided to resign post as Ms. Gunaratne (29) was unwilling to give up her Sri Lankan nationality.

However, the Army did not accept his resignation saying he had not completed the mandatory period service, there is a shortage of officers in the Corps of Signals and he is under investigation for unauthorised contract with a foreign national and failing to report it to the authorities.

A single judge bench had set aside the Army’s order but had allowed the Army to investigate the Major’s conduct with regard to contact with a foreign national.

The Defence Ministry appealed against the order before the Division Bench.

During the hearing on Tuesday, the Bench, in a lighter vein asked whether Army was against love marriage or did it think love at first sight was not a possibility? The Bench also referred to former President K.R. Narayanan [the supreme commander of the armed forces], who had married a Myanmarese.

Major Kumar, an engineering graduate, met Ms. Gunaratne in 2011 and they fell in love. They planned to marry in November 2011 but Army’s rejection of his resignation put paid to all that. The smitten Major has undertaken to pay back all expenses the Indian Army spent on his training besides not seeking any terminal benefit for his service with the Army since 2000.

After hearing the appeal filed by the Union, the Division Bench has reserved its verdict.

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If it is for a noble cause - and there can not be one nobler than love - the Indian army should make an exception. It is certainly against the rights of the individual if s/he can not resign from a position. And the army, in a sense, is a guarantor of this right when it undertakes to protect the nation. And moreover the people of both countries want a happy ending to this story!

from:  luhar sen
Posted on: Nov 1, 2012 at 14:42 IST

Dear Vikas and Ranamali we Sri Lankans are with you. May triple gems
bless you.

from:  Chandana
Posted on: Oct 31, 2012 at 16:48 IST

He is in Love and it is evident that he values his love and ready to sacrifice his carrier for it. Ranmali may want to bring him to Sri Lanka's peace and quite from the maddening crowds. We Sri Lankans will stand by the lovers, welcome them, and find a civilian position for Major.

from:  Vishwa
Posted on: Oct 31, 2012 at 15:57 IST

Most people wouldn't go through such complication at the end of the
day if they really didn't want this badly enough. They will be
together eventually whether the permission is granted or not I think,
and I guess it's a matter of time, I don't see why they should be
hassled and harrassed so much, when it's a waste of everybody else's
time too.
I'm a Sri Lankan National married to an Indian living in Mumbai, and
as it is we have such complications with renewing our spousal
residency status every year, not recieving PIO status, not being able
to work, not being able to have a bank account, or even a joint
account with my husband, etc which spouses of other nationalities are
entitled to. It's pretty ridiculous.
Arnila knowing all this still is determined to Marry Vikas ! Kudos to
her! I wish them all the best.

from:  S.Mendis
Posted on: Oct 31, 2012 at 15:37 IST
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