Mohammed Zubair Corporal No.781467-G vs Union of India - Supreme Court Case
Mohammed Zubair Corporal No.781467-G vs Union of India - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2016 -
On 15th December, 2016, in the case of Mohammed Zubair Corporal No.781467-G vs Union of India & Ors. [Civil Appeal No.8643 of 2009], the appellant, a member of the Indian Air Force, asserted his right to sport a beard on grounds that he was a Muslim, and challenged the Air Force order directing him to shave off his beard contending that it was contrary to Regulation 425(b) of the Regulations governing the Indian Air Force.
While observing that the appellant did not produce any material to indicate that he professed a religious belief that would bring him within the ambit of Regulation 425(b), which applies to “personnel whose religion prohibits the cutting off the hair or shaving off the face of its members”, a three Judge Bench held that the appellant, “having been enrolled as a member of the Air Force, was necessarily required to abide by the discipline of the Force.” It was further held that “regulations and policies in regard to personal appearance are not intended to discriminate against religious beliefs nor do they have the effect of doing so. Their object and purpose is to ensure uniformity, cohesiveness, discipline and order, which are indispensable to the Air Force, as indeed to every armed force of the Union.”