'Beard' not a mandatory requirement in Islam: HC

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Chandigarh, Jul 16 (UNI) The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that it is not essential for Muslim IAF personnel to sport 'beard' as it is not a mandatory requirement in Islam.

''In fact there is no provision in Islam for adherence to such a practice,'' Justice Pramod Kohli ruled, while dismissing the plea of two Air Force corporals -- Aftab Ahmed and Zubair -- against the authorities refusal to permit them to keep a beard.

The two IAF personnel had sought judicial intervention when they were ordered to shave off their beards.

The Counsel for the petitioners indicated that they would appeal before a larger bench against the verdict.

It was submitted that the Indian Air Force till January 1, 2002, was allowed to sport beards by Muslim employees, provided they had beard at the time of recruitment.

However, these instructions were revised subsequently and barred personnel from sporting beards, except the Sikh employees.


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