Muslims in Air Force can't grow beard, rules SC

The court was hearing two separate petitions, one of which was filed by Ansari Aaftab Ahmed, an airman who was dismissed from service in October 2008 for growing a beard without his commanding officer�s permission and refusing to shave it off despite being warned of disciplinary proceedings

Muslims in Air Force can

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that Muslim personnel in the Indian Air Force can't sport beard did not citing religious grounds. A bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur added that regulations do not interfere with religious rights of individuals and that they have the sanctity of ensuring discipline.

The court was hearing two separate petitions, one of which was filed by Ansari Aaftab Ahmed, an airman who was dismissed from service in October 2008 for growing a beard without his commanding officer’s permission and refusing to shave it off despite being warned of disciplinary proceedings.


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.