Skip to comments.SC rejects Muslim's plea to sport beard [in Catholic school], says no 'Talibanisation of India'
Posted on 03/30/2009 12:08:35 PM PDT by MyTwoCopperCoins
NEW DELHI: Rejecting the plea of a Muslim student that he should be permitted to sport beard in his convent school, the Supreme Court on Monday observed secularism cannot be overstretched and that "Talibanisation" of the country cannot be permitted.
"We don't want to have Talibans in the country. Tommorow a girl student may come and say that she wants to wear a burqa, can we allow it?", Justice Markandeya Katju speaking for a bench headed by Justice Raveendran observed.
Asserting that he was a secularist to the core, Justice Katju however said religious beliefs cannot be overstretched.
"I am secularist. We should strike a balance between rights and personal beliefs. We cannot overstretch secularism," the judge known for his incisive remarks said.
Justice Katju passed the obsesrvation while dismsissing the petition of the student. Mohammad Salim of Nirmala Convent Higher Secondary School, a government-recognised minority institution in Madhya Pradesh, has sought quashing of the school regulation requiring students to be clean-shaven.
Challenging a Madhya Pradesh High Court verdict that had earlier dismissed his plea, Salim submitted that every citizen was entitled to follow his religious principles and that no one should restrain him from doing so in a secular country like India.
Salim's counsel Justice (retd) B A Khan argued before the bench that sporting beard was an indispensable part of Islam.
But Justice Katju was apparently not impressed with the argument and quipped "But you (Khan) don't sport a beard?" the judge asked the counsel.
The apex court then said that a minority institution has its own set of rules and rights provided by Article 30 of the Constitution and the same cannot be breached by any person.
"If there are rules you have to be. You can't say that I will not wear a uniform I will only a burqa," the bench observed.
The court further said if the student was not interested in following the rules then he has the option of joining some other institution.
"You can join some other institution if you do not want to observe the rules. But you can't ask the school to change the rules for you,"Justice Katju observed.
Appearing for the student, senior advocate B A Khan said that Article 25 of the Constitution guaranteed protection to Salim to pursue his religious practice of keeping a beard and the regulation providing for shaving it off was violative of this provision.
He said the act of the principal to force the student to leave the school for keeping a beard was against "his religious conscience, belief and custom of his family".
Pointing out that Sikh community members were allowed to keep a beard and sport a turban, Salim alleged there was a clear discrimination on part of the school to force him to be clean shaven and this rule was violative of his fundamental rights.
He should move to America. Or France, or England, or almost anywhere in the West.
The judge or the student? LOL!
The student! The judge would be ostracized.
I doubt any US or Western judge would rule like this Indian one.
Wow, what common sense! Maybe we should start outsourcing our judicial decisions to India, too!
No thanks, the less Muslims here the better.
A Muslin student in a CONVENT school wearing a beard? Can’t they just ask her to wear a vail?
1. No one asks Sikhs to shave their beard, Not even the Indian Army that is the best example for uniformity and discipline. Why ?
Muslims are to be blamed first for not keeping their label. Including the lawyer who was questioned by Justice.
2. This is also an example for the injustice done to the Muslim community that has never been questioned.
Because the institution, as the result of the fact that it is minority-run, has special laws that benefit it.
As for public positions, for example, the Navy, Muslims are allowed to keep their beard. A man won a case to do so, recently.
That said, if hate-literature laws are applied to the Quran, how would you feel when it’s banned as a result? Aren’t Muslims getting a free-pass on that?