high court lucknow BENCH HC LAW INSIDER
high court lucknow BENCH HC LAW INSIDER

Snehal Upadhyay

Published on August 24, 2021, at 12:45 IST

Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow Bench refused to allow a police constable to grow his beard and held that if he refuses to cut his beard despite getting orders from higher officials, it will be in contravention to the circular issued on October 26, 2020, by the Director-General of Police.

The Court observed that “As such, it is not only wrong behaviour but the same is misdemeanor, misdeed, and delinquency of the cop.”

The Single Judge bench of Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan passed this order on a writ petition which was filed by Mohammad Farman who is a police constable.

The Court observed that mere growth of beards by any member of the disciplined force cannot be protected under Article 25 (Right to freedom of Religion) of the Indian Constitution.

The petitioner was challenging his suspension and the charge sheet which was issued against him.

The petitioner contended that maintaining a beard was his fundamental right which was been infringed.

The Court stated that “Article 25 of the Constitution of India does not confer absolute 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 in-built restrictions.”

The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Ayodhya, sought action against him for keeping a beard despite the directions to shave it. As per the DGP circular of October 26, 2020, it prohibits a cop in the police force from growing a beard.

While quashing the petition, the bench ordered the authorities to conduct a departmental inquiry against the petitioner following the law.

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