An Army major, who is set to tie the knot with his Sri Lankan girlfriend, is likely to lose Rs16 lakh as the army has asked him to reimburse the entire training cost for issuing the relieving orders. Major Vikas Kumar of Corps of Signals here was relieved by the army in November last year to marry his 29-year-old girlfriend, on condition that he refunds the entire cost of his training to the Indian Military Academy and furnishes his marriage certificate.
According to the Army, he has to pay around Rs16 lakh for the training, which Major Vikas Kumar says is "incorrect", a source close to him who did not wish to be quoted told PTI. "There is a service liability clause under which he has to serve the Army for five years before he can be relieved and the Major has already served that period," the source said.
"The Major has written to Army officials asking them to clarify on this and specify the correct amount. He is yet to get a reply from the Army," the source added. Major Vikas Kumar plans to get married once he gets the reply from the Army and settles the issue, Army sources said. The decision to accept his resignation was taken by the Army on November 22, a day after Karnataka High Court rapped it for repeatedly contesting the case despite two different benches ruling in his favour.
The Army conveyed to the court its decision to conditionally accept Kumar's resignation during hearing of the contempt petition filed by him before the division bench headed by Justice DV Shylendra Kumar in December. Before the court's intervention, the Army did not consider Kumar's application, saying the woman had not given consent to take up Indian citizenship and that the Major might end up being relieved without terminal benefit.
On November 21, the Karnataka High Court dismissed the writ appeal filed by the Army, challenging the single judge order directing it to consider Kumar's application. The division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen dismissed the appeal and imposed a cost of Rs75,000 on the Army.
Trouble began for the couple when the Major sought permission from his higher-ups to marry his girlfriend Arnila Rangamali Gunaratne, an MPhil student. The application was rejected on September 19, 2011 on the ground that it was not correct. The Major moved the high court which on December 7, 2011 admitted the petition and directed the respondents (army) to consider his application and relieve him.
When the Army did not respond, Kumar filed another petition in the court which on June 18 last year quashed the Army order rejecting his application. The Army, however, had appealed against the single judge's order.