Can’t grow beard on religious ground in armed forces: SC

New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a plea by two IAF personnel seeking to grow beard, saying IAF’s policies on personal appearance were not intended to discriminate against religious beliefs.

Rejecting the plea by Mohamed Zubair and Ansari Aaftab Ahmed, Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice L. Nageswara Rao said: “Regulation and policies in regard to personal appearances are not intended to discriminate against religious beliefs nor do they have the affect of doing so.

“Their (regulation and policies) object and purpose is to ensure uniformity, cohesiveness, discipline and order which are indispensable to the air force as indeed to every armed force,” the ruling said.

Zubair had challenged the rejection by the Indian Air Force (IAF) of his request for growing beard on religious ground as he was a Muslim.

Zubair had applied for permission to sport a beard on January 10, 2005 and the same was rejected by the Commanding Officer the next month.

–IANS

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