A policeman from Maharashtra, who was suspended for not adhering to no-beard policy of the state reserve force, has not agreed to the offer of the Supreme Court that it would revoke his suspension if he shaves.
Zahiroddin Shamsoddin Bedade had approached the top court in 2013 after the Bombay High Court did not find fault with the suspension order.
A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, while refusing an urgent hearing in the matter, said it felt sorry for him and will allow him to join back if he agrees to keep the beard only during religious periods.
“It’s your choice,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, said but the counsel for Bedade refused the offer saying there was no concept of temporary beard in Islam.
Bedade, who was appointed as a constable in the State Reserve Police Force, had applied for and was granted permission to grow his beard in 2012.
However, his permission was revoked in keeping with the new amendments made to the Maharashtra State Reserve Police Force’s policy.
The high court had said that he could keep the beard only during religious period and the force was a secular agency and discipline required him to stick to secular rules.
Challenging the high court’s order, he approached the apex court.
On December 15 last year, the apex court had also dealt with a similar petition filed by IAF official Mohammad Zubair in which it ruled that unless keeping a beard was an integral part of one’s religion such as in the Sikh community no personnel could be allowed to grow a beard.
( Source – PTI )