Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Passing an order, the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court declined to allow a Muslim police personnel to keep the beard while being in the force. The court dismissed the petition on August 12, 2021 and directed the authorities concerned to conduct and conclude the departmental inquiry against thepetitioner in accordance with law.

The court held that  having a beard was a violation of circular issued in that regard on October 26, 2020 by the Director General of Police  and as such it was not only a wrong behaviour but also misdemeanour, misdeed and delinquency on the part of the cop.

The court also said that direction issued by the higher officials against having a beard while being in force was already in place.

A single judge bench, comprising Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan, passed the order on the writ petition filed by a police constable  Mohammad Farman. Observing that keeping beard by a personnel of a disciplined force may not get protection under Article 25 of the Constitution of India, the bench said: 

“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 disciplined force and no interference should be done, in as much as, maintaining and wearing proper uniform as well as maintaining physicalappearance is one of the first and foremost requirement of the members of disciplined force.”

The petitioner was suspended for keeping the beard despite being asked to remove it. His action , thus, violated the decorum of the force and action against him was taken by the senior superintendent of police, Ayodhya.  A circular issued by UP DGP on October 26, 2020 prohibits  a cop in police force to keep beard.

Consequently, the petitioner had challenged his suspension which was done on November 5, 2020 and a charge sheet was filed against him on July 29, 2021 . The bench rebutted the plea  that maintaining beard was fundamental right of the petitioner, saying:  “Article 25 of the Constitution of India does not conferabsolute right in this regard, all the 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.”