The dismissal by the Supreme Court of the SLP by Mr.Joynath Victor De against his compulsory retirement by the Indian Airlines Ltd. for refusing to trim his moustache is bizarre because one expected a reasoned order from the Court, especially since it attracted international attention, as evident from this Google entry. In fact, the Supreme Court’s Bench comprising Justices Sema and Katju had admitted the SLP, and issued notice to the Indian Airlines, because it was surprised how the airlines despite allowing their mascot Maharaja to have long grand moustache have terminated the services of their employee because of the same moustache. A report in Indian express last year said:
De had refused to trim his long moustache despite the airlines’ amended rules that made it mandatory for all in-flight male employees, except those belonging to Sikh community, to trim their moustache regularly, so that it does not go beyond the upper lips. After De, who claimed his moustache formed part of his long family tradition, refused to follow the amended rules, the airlines shifted his services to the ground staff. Later, the state carrier forced him to retire, alleged the petitioner in his appeal.
If competition indeed compelled the airlines to amend its rule, should not the Court have given a reasoned and elaborate judgment to justify this discrimination?