oppn parties Religious Practises versus State Law

News Snippets

  • S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says Pakistan should release and repatriate Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote latest by 1.30 pm today
  • The Government sends a list of 24 questions to mobile app company that runs video app TikTok seeking answers for anti-national and obscene content carried on the platform
  • Sarvana Bhawan founder P Rajagopal, serving a life term for murder, dies in a Chennai hospital
  • SC allows time till July 31 to the Ayodhya mediation panel
  • IT department attaches "benami" plot worth Rs 400cr in Noida. The plot allegedly belongs to BSP leader [email protected]@@s brother and his wife
  • Dawood [email protected]@@s nephew, Md. Rizwan Iqbal, was arrested from Mumbai airport as he was waiting to board a flight to Dubai
  • Trouble brews in Bihar JD(U)-BJP alliance as Bihar police asks special branch officers to keep tabs on RSS activities
  • Trust vote in Karnataka assembly today. With rebel MLAs deciding to stay away after the SC order, the Congress-JD(S) government is likely to fall as it does not have the numbers
  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
International Court of Justice agrees with India, stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution. It asks Pakistan to allow consular access to the accused.
oppn parties
Religious Practises versus State Law

By Sunil Garodia

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.