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Ridiculous to expel Muslim student with beard: SC

The Supreme Court on Friday severely reprimanded a convent school in Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh for expelling a Muslim student for his refusal to shave his beard, an alleged disobedience which cost him an academic year. Asking the principal of Nirmala Convent School to immediately take back the student, Mohammad Salim, a Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and G S Singhvi expressed its deep anguish at such ridiculous rules framed by schools. Agreeing with Salim's counsel senior advocate B A Khan, the Bench said: "How on earth could a school disentitle a student from pursuing studies just because he has kept a beard?" "Then there will be no end to such prima facie ridiculous rules. Tomorrow the school authorities would say they would not allow entry to students who are not fair in complexion," wondered the Bench. The Bench also appeared quite in sync with the present fashion trends. "These days it is a fashion for youngsters to sport an earring. Can these boys be denied admission to a school?" the Bench asked before issuing notice to the principal of the convent school and directing it to allow Salim to continue with his studies there. The case had a roller coaster ride in the judiciary. His plea against the "ridiculous" no-beard rule of the school was dismissed by the MP High Court, against which he had appealed in the Supreme Court. In the SC, he was in for a rude jolt as on April 30 this year a Bench comprising Justices R V Raveendran and Markandey Katju had not only dismissed his appeal, but peppered him with the now infamous "Talibanisation" comment. But, the Bench was quick to regret its comments and on July 6 it had recalled its order along with an apology for the unwarranted comment. Salim had sought quashing of a regulation of Nirmala Convent Higher Secondary School, a government-recognised minority institution in Madhya Pradesh, that required students to be clean-shaven.


 5 Replies


I am sorry I do not agree with the Bench. I respect all religions belief. If some body belive sentiments of his religion, The belief should be keep limited to his house and his holy place. In educational institutions, defence, government offices all have to maintain dress code and secularism.  

ritu bhadana (advocate)     12 September 2009

 Well i Agree with bench's View. With Due respect to All religions if a Sikh Student is allowed to keep a turban then why a beard is being much hyped. There must be equality for All. Apex court has Given a convincing decision.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     12 September 2009

Let us all remember  the UNESCO Convention Against Discrimination in Education of 14th December 1960.

AEJAZ AHMED (Legal Consultant/Lawyer)     27 October 2009

I Agree with ' Ritu '.

Shree. ( Advocate.)     27 October 2009

Curbing such basic right is definately a form of dictatorship. Thankfully SC finally gave a setback to all people having insouciant attitude towards religion.

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