Failing to get a positive response from the Indian Army, a serving Major has approached the Bombay High Court seeking that the authorities allow him to marry a US national.
Major Yogesh Chandra Madhav Sayankar has alternatively sought voluntary retirement, even forgoing retirement benefits, but the Army has not responded to his applications.
Sayankar, who is set to marry Shruti Kulkarni on December 10, approached the Army seeking permission for the same. According to Army rules, a serving officer has to take permission from the authorities if he is marrying an NRI.
Kulkarni works with an advertising agency in the US.
Anand Grover, advocate for Sayankar, argued that he had written four times to the authorities seeking permission to marry Kulkarni. The Army has not even responded to his request for premature release and return his applications asking him to attach different documents every time, he argued.
“The wedding date is fixed. He should be released by the Army,” argued Grover.
Army counsel Godse argued that Sayankar should approach the Armed Forces Tribunal if he has any grievances. The HC does not have the jurisdiction to decide applications by a serving Army officer, argued Godse.
Grover countered: “As he did not receive a response, he had no other option but to approach high court.” Chief Justice Mohit Shah remarked that several petitions relating to court martial and disciplinary actions are regularly filed in the high court.
When the court asked the Army counsel to file a reply in two weeks, Godse said she needs more time because she would have to consult her seniors. The division bench of the Chief Justice and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked the Army to reply by October 19.
Any order passed in this case would set as a precedent that could be used in other matters related to the Army.