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The Appeal filed by Airmen Mohammed Zubair and Ansari Aaftab Ahmed challenging the order of Punjab and Haryana High Court which held that rules broadly accommodated “the basic interest of various religions in a secular manner.”
The Supreme dismissed the Appeal and while dismissing it Court stated that Muslims are not allowed grow beard after the enrollment in IAF as discipline, uniformity and cohesiveness in the armed forces could not be overlooked for religious beliefs.
Bench headed by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur and Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao said the defence forces were required to maintain a secular character because people from different places backgrounds and religions joined to serve the nation and regulations and policies on personal appearance were not intended to discriminate against religious beliefs.
Court further said that the growing a beard was not a fundamental part of Islam and upheld the government policy and No material has been produced before this court to indicate that the appellant professes a religious belief that would bring him within the ambit of Regulation 425(b) unlike for Sikh religion which applies to personnel whose religion prohibits the cutting off of hair or shaving the face of its members ( SC already considered this point earlier for Sikh personnel).