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‘Review plea for premature retirement’

mumbai Updated: Mar 26, 2011 00:49 IST
HT Correspondent

Major Yogesh Chandra Madhav Sayankar, whose wedding with a US citizen has been on hold since last December, received a reprieve from the high court on Friday.

The Bombay high court directed the Indian Army to reconsider his plea for premature retirement and gave the authorities a month’s time to take a fresh decision.

Major Sayankar had found himself in an awkward situation because the army authorities rejected his plea seeking permission to marry Shruti Kulkarni, a US national, as she refused to denounce her foreign citizenship and become an Indian citizen after marriage.

The officer had moved the high court after the army authorities neither granted him permission to get married nor considered his application for premature retirement.

The high court has now held that the army authorities could not reject application for premature retirement even if the officer’s continuation in service is necessary, and alternate arrangement could not be made. They could, at the most, hold the application in abeyance for some time.

Before the high court, Indian Army took a stand that the plea for premature retirement could not be allowed because there was already a dearth of officers in commissioned service, and the country required the services of young officers such as Major Sayankar.

Their counsel contended that Major Sayankar’s proposed marriage could be a ploy to get a “back-door exit” from defence services.

The division bench comprising chief justice Mohit Shah and justice SJ Vazifdar discarded the apprehension saying it could be taken care of by accepting the plea for premature retirement when on the date of Sayankar’s proposed marriage on May 28, 2011, subject to furnishing of evidence to that effect.