Apex Court says Govt conduct rules barring 2nd marriage does not violate Art 25

The Supreme Court said that the Conduct Rules of the UP government for its employees that mandates permission for contracting second marriage during existence of the first marriage, is not violative of the Article 25 of the India Constitution.

This verdict has come in light while dealing with an appeal filed by a muslim employee in UP’s Irrigation Dept challenging a disciplinary authority order removing him from service for proven misconduct of another marriage, which was upheld by Allahabad High Court.

The Supreme Court held that a government employee can not take refuge under Article 25 of the Indian Constitution dealing with right to profess religion, to challenge rule barring polygamy. The Court further said that his contention that such rule was violative of Article 25 was answered by the Apex Court earlier in Javed vs State of Haryana matter.

The Bench said, “Polygamy was not integral part of religion and monogamy was a reform within the power of the State under Article 25. This Court upheld the views of the Bombay, Gujarat and Allahabad High Courts to this effect. This Court also upheld the view of the Allahabad High court upholding such a conduct rule. It was observed that a practice did not acquire sanction of religion simply because it was permitted. Such a practice could be regulated by law without violating Article 25”.

In its judgement, the Bench said, “As regards the charge of misconduct in question, it is patent that there is no material on record to show that the appellant divorced his first wife before the second marriage or he informed the Government about contracting the second marriage. In absence thereof, the second marriage is a misconduct under the Conduct Rules.”

Special Correspondent