oppn parties Religious Practises versus State Law

News Snippets

  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
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Religious Practises versus State Law

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2015-09-22 13:08:52

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Supreme Court has upheld the order of the Allahabad High Court that has upheld the UP government order of dismissing a Muslim employee for marrying a second time before annulling his first marriage and without seeking departmental permission, as mandated by the Service Conduct Rules of the state. The petitioner had challenged the Service Rules on the grounds that they interfered with the permission granted by his faith to marry more than once and were hence in violation of Article 25 of the Indian constitution.

The apex court was of the opinion that despite there being several cases on these lines decided by the High Courts, such matters had not come to the Supreme Court because of the futility of the exercise. The Court was of the opinion that Article 25 allows the government to enact legislation despite religious permission in order to protect or uphold public order, health and morality. Citing several High Court judgments, the court opined that what was permitted but not mandated by any religion could not be cited as a ground to rescind any state law that was enacted for public good.

In the instant case, the Court said that although Muslims were permitted to marry more than once by their religion, it was not mandatory for them to indulge in polygamy. It was not as if the scriptures asked each and every Muslim male to marry four times. Also, the Service Conduct Rules were clear in stating that no employee could marry again before annulling his first marriage and without seeking permission from the department.

Hence, the Court dismissed the petition as the petitioner had broken the Service Conduct Rules. As for the challenge to Article 25, the Court was categorical in stating that the State always had primacy to enact laws. These laws were always supreme where something was allowed by religion but was not mandated for the followers. Citizens could not hide behind religious practices to indulge in something that was expressly prohibited by any state law. Hence, it did not find that the UP Service Conduct Rules violated Article 25 in any way.