Supreme Court quashes Muslim officer’s petition, says air force personnel can”t sport beard
The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that barring Air Force personnel from sporting long beard did not "interfere" with freedom of religion, a media report said today.
Upholding the sacking of an Air Force man for keeping beard, the apex court said that the regulations of the armed forces are aimed at ensuring discipline and uniformity.
"The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur quashed the petition of Ansari Aftab Ahmed, who was discharged from service in 2008. Rejecting his plea the bench maintained that the dress code was not discriminatory," reported India Today.
Ansari had argued that sporting beard was part of his fundamental right to freedom of religion.
He cited examples of Sikh personnel and sought equality with them. Sikhs are allowed to sport long hair, turban and beard.
Responding to the notice issued in the matter, the Indian Air Force told the Supreme Court , "All Muslims do not carry beard.
The practice of growing and keeping beard is optional and sporting a beard is not universally recognised in the religion of Islam."
"It cannot be said that Muslim religion prohibits the cutting of hair or shaving of the face of its member," the IAF said.