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HomePoliticsIndiaAllahabad HC rejects suspended Muslim cop's plea to sport beard

Allahabad HC rejects suspended Muslim cop’s plea to sport beard

The constable had approached Allahabad HC against his suspension, seeking that he be allowed to keep a beard, citing Article 25, which deals with freedom of religion

The Allahabad has refused to allow a suspended Muslim policeman to keep a beard while in service, saying it violates official orders and he can’t seek protection under Article 25 of the Constitution. The Lucknow bench of Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan passed the order on a writ filed by constable Mohd Farman, who was suspended in November last year for maintaining a beard despite being told to shave it.

The DGP had issued a circular on 26 2020, prohibiting policemen to keep a beard.

The constable had approached Allahabad against his suspension, seeking that he be allowed to keep a beard, citing Article 25, which deals with freedom of religion.

Passing the order, Allahabad bench said not shaving one’s beard despite being given directions by higher officials was a violation of the circular by the Director- of and as such is not only a wrong behaviour but also the misdemeanour, misdeed and delinquency of the cop.

Observing that keeping a beard by a member of a disciplined force may not be protected under Article 25, the bench held, “This is a domain of competent authority to issue guidelines in respect of wearing proper uniform and keeping the appearance in a manner required for the members of a disciplined force and no interference should be done.”

Rebutting the plea that maintaining a beard is a fundamental right of the petitioner, the bench said Article 25 of the Constitution of India does not confer absolute right in this regard.

“All rights have to be viewed in the context and letter and spirit in which they have been framed under the constitution. As a matter of fact, rights guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution of India have inbuilt restrictions,” it said.

Dismissing the petition on 12 August, the bench directed the authorities to conduct and conclude the departmental inquiry against the petitioner in accordance with law.

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