Can’t Muslim cop sport beard?

 Apex Court scrutinizes the service regulations!

One personnel of State Reserve Police of Maharashtra belonging to Muslim religion sought permission from the  Commandant to sport a beard as per his religious faith and he was allowed to do so. Subsequently the permission was cancelled in view of the amended service guidelines but he was not heared.

His writ petition , challenging the Commandant's order was rejected by the High Court. In his Special Leave Petition  in the Supreme Court the petitioner has raised important question of law. When Sikhs in the force are allowed to have a beard and wear a turban and their observance is upheld, why not for others .

Article 14 of the Indian Constitution guarantees right of equality  to the every citizen and Article 25 provides the right to profess, practise and propagate one's religion. Apparently the demand of the petitioner may appear just. The secular fabric of the nation is spelt out in Indian Constitution explicitly. The observance of secularism in the governance of the nation is in confused condition.

Religious faith is an individual affair and it should not find a place in the public governace. Strict observance of the secular credentials as non religious and the equality of right enshrined in the Constitution have to be ensured for peace and harmony in the society .

Courtesy : The Hindu – January 23, 2013

Court allows termination of pregnancy in forced prostitution case

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 provides for abortion in case of women whose physical / mental health is endangered by pregnancy, a woman faces birth of a potentially handicapped or malformed child, rape , pregnancy in unmarried under the age of 18, with the consent of the guardian in lunatics or as result of failure in sterilization.

One more likely addition has been facilitated as per the verdict of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, allowing termination of pregnancy in forced prostitution. Compelling a woman for prostitution is a miserable crime. The outcome of such forced prostitution through the birth of a child is anti human.

The forced 'prostitute' is the mother of the probable child whose father cannot be traced and the child has to bear the brunt for no fault of its own. When the 'prostitute' woman herself is prepared for aborting at the pregnancy stage, it has to be medically and ethically ideal to do so.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has delivered a laudable and progressive verdict. When certain religions are against the abortion of foetus on bonafide ground, the verdict of the judiciary , unmindful of the religious identities of the aggrieved woman upholds not only the upright of humanity but the secular credentials of the country.

Courtesy: Times of India -
January 16, 2013

Don’t exploit women under cover of religion, court tells priests, maulvis

Dismissing an anticipatory bail application moved by a maulvi, accused of forcing a young Muslim girl into a wedding with a married man who allegedly raped her subsequently, a sessions court here has slammed the cleric’s attempt to take refuge in religious tenets to justify his act.

While the prosecution said the maulvi forcibly performed the nikah, the maulvi claimed that the Shariah permitted a Muslim to keep four wives at a time and that the girl consented to the marriage.

However, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau noted that the girl had not signed the marriage certificate, her parents were not present, nor were there any witnesses. Further, the girl escaped from the man, who allegedly raped her after serving her intoxicants, the same day. The maulvi getting a stamp paper for the girl to sign purportedly consenting to the marriage was prima facie a “cover-up operation” on his part for indemnity from legal consequences and awareness of his committing an illegal act, the judge said.

Majesty of law prevails

On the maulvi taking recourse to Shariah to justify polygamy, Ms. Lau said: “The Indian legal system provides sufficient space for religious freedom but whenever any such regressive religious practice comes into conflict with the rights of the citizens as enshrined in the Indian Constitution, it becomes obligatory for courts to ensure that it is the majesty of law and the constitutional mandate which prevail.”

- Courtesy : The Hindu,  January 2, 2013

Taking shelter under the religious siege by the clergy is aptly commented by the judiciary. The Constitution of India governs this continental country of multi religious , linguistic and cultural propositions. When the question of human deprivation arises out of the relgious practices, it is the majesty of law and the Constitutional mandate which prevail. The prudence on the part of the judiciary is the leading light to fight against the discrimination of women under the guise of religious and spiritual beliefs and practices.


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