The Supreme Court
Friday permitted a Muslim student, who was sacked by a school in
Madhya Pradesh for sporting a beard, to continue his studies in the
A Bench consisting
of Justices B.N. Agrawal and G.S. Singhvi stayed the dismissal order
passed by the Nirmala Convent Higher Secondary School, a government-recognised
minority institution, on an appeal by the student, Mohammad Salim.
"So you have been
dismissed merely because you have a beard," the bench asked Salim's
counsel B.A. Khan and added, "It means no Sikh student can sport a
"Tomorrow they may
refuse admission on the colour of the skin also," said the bench
terming it as ridiculous.
had already lost one year, said his counsel.
quashing of the school regulation requiring students to be clean
shaven. Challenging a Madhya Pradesh High Court verdict which
earlier dismissed his plea, he said every citizen was entitled to
follow his religious principles.
The bench also
issued notice to school authorities and the state government on
Salim's lawsuit, which sought scrapping of his school's anti-beards
rule contending that it impinges upon his religious faith.
Earlier, on March
30, a Bench headed by Justice Markandey Katju rejected the student’s
petition orally observing that secularism could not be overstretched
and that “Talibanisation” of the country could not be permitted.
Salim sought review of the plea stating the observations on
“Talibanisation” caused incalculable damage to the country’s image
and the judiciary, besides, hurting Muslim sentiments.
On July 6,
Justices R.V. Raveendran and Katju withdrew the March 30 order and
directed that the matter be placed before Chief Justice K.G.
Balakrishnan for posting it before another Bench. Also, Justice
Katju apologized to the Muslims for his controversial remark on July
5 and referred the lawsuit to Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan's
bench, saying that the matter should be heard by another bench.
matter was heard Friday by a bench of Justices Agrawal and Singhvi.