For a Member of the Disciplined Force, not cutting beard is not protected under Article 25: Allahabad High Court

In the case of Mohd. Farman v. State of Uttar Pradesh , the Allahabad High Court’s Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan observed that non-cutting of beard by Police official despite notice by higher authorities, would make the act of non-cutting of beard a misdemeanor.

Petitioner Mohd. Farman challenged the Circular dated 26th October, 2020 by the Director General of Police, UP, Lucknow, that had laid down the guidelines for proper uniform and appearance of a member of the disciplined force.

Petitioner had also challenged the suspension order of 5th November 2020, passed by Deputy Inspector General of Police/Senior Superintendent of Police, and there was a departmental inquiry against petitioner for not following Circular instructions.

Justice Chauhan said that as far as instructions for the maintenance of appearance of a member of the disciplined forces is concerned, then that 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, inasmuch as, maintaining and wearing proper uniform as well as maintaining physical appearance is one of the first and foremost requirement of the members of disciplined force.”

Such force should keep a secular appearance, and it was observed that Article 25 of the Constitution cannot interfere with the requirements of appearance for a disciplined force, and referring to the case of Mohammed Zubair Corporal v. Union of India , it was also emphasized that it could not be established that Islam mandates beard. The petitioner’s suit was dismissed by the Court.

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