The Kochi Bench of Armed Forces Tribunal executed the order for dismissing the military personnel, who was discharged from military for growing his beard, and held it to be against the Defense Service Regulations. The bench stated that “the practice of wearing beard by a Muslim is only desirable and not an integral religious practice forming part of the fundamental tenets of his religion.”
The applicant stated that he has been removed from the service of sepoy at Military Medical Corps, Indian Army, for growing beard, contending that it formed the part of his religious beliefs. The Applicant also stated that this removal is in violation of his fundamental right guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution of India under which he sustain religious freedom.
Further, the applicant challenge that Regulation 655 of the Defence Service Regulations which states that other military personnel other then Sikhs personnel had to maintain their chin and the under lip well shaved and moustaches if worn to be under moderate length, as unreasonable and arbitrary clause which is in violation of Articles 14 and 25 of the Constitution of India.
But the bench comprising of S.S. Satheesa Chandran and Vice Admiral M.P. Muralidharan dismissed the contentions of Applicant as baseless and further states that the same has been made without any sufficient reasons to substantiate it.
By – Simran Arora