Rtd IAF officer’s foreigner wife can avail benefits: SC

Rtd IAF officer’s foreigner wife can avail benefits: SC

An Indian Air Force officer, who marries a foreign national after his release or retirement, would be entitled to include the name of his spouse in all documents, for availing pension and other benefits such as medical, club or canteen facilities, the Supreme Court held on Thursday.

A bench of Justices U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud found that the Union government’s counsel could not furnish any such policy or provision in rules which debarred retired personnel from contracting marriage with a foreign national.

According to the Air Force Order of March 20, 2009, marriage with a foreign national is not to be contracted without prior sanction.

“The underlying idea behind the policy is that in case a person governed by the provisions of Indian Air Force Act, 1950 intends to contract marriage with a foreign national, requisite intimation in that behalf is required to be made and appropriate permission is also required to be obtained. As a part of the exercise, the foreign national with whom the marriage is to be contracted may be required to give up the original citizenship and acquire citizenship of India,” the court said.

The policy further stated if the department does not respond within 120 days to such a request, the permission is deemed to have been granted.

The court allowed a plea by Sqn Ldr (Rtd) Navtej Singh for inclusion of the names of his wife and daughter in all documents. Singh applied for permission on October 27, 2008 for contracting marriage with a woman having Canadian immigrant visa. He was, however, invalidated out of service with effect from November 18, 2009 on medical grounds, and not for any infraction of the policy.

In fact, the department did not respond for more than 120 days, the court said. He contracted marriage on December 19, 2008.