Four Nepalese families lost their British court battle on Friday for the right of Gurkha fighters’ adult children to settle in Britain with their parents.
A high court judge in London upheld an earlier ruling by Britain’s interior ministry that the four Nepalese applicants, who are in their late 20s and early 30s, should not be allowed indefinite leave to remain in Britain. The Gurkhas, who are famed for their ferocity and carry distinctive curved Kukri knives, have been part of Britain’s army for nearly 200 years.
About 200,000 Gurkhas fought for Britain in World War I and World War II and more than 45,000 have died in British uniform. Lawyers for the four said the current policy, which bars Gurkhas’ children from relocating to Britain with their parents if they are aged over 18, did not reflect their families’ “devotion and commitment” to Britain.
Judge David Eady paid tribute to the Gurkhas’ “great contributions” to Britain as he ruled on the test case, but he added: “I must guard against criticising the policy or seeking to undermine it.” Since 2004, former servicemen who served with British forces and were discharged in Britain have been allowed to settle there.