Karnataka Hijab Row: HC Reserves Verdict In Pleas Challenging Ban
The judgment was reserved by a full bench of Karnataka High Court consisting of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices Krishna S Dixit and JM Khazi on petitions challenging the state government's order which effectively bans the wearing of hijab in educational institutions in the state.
Bengaluru: After 11 days of the hearing, the Karnataka High Court bench on Friday reserved its verdict on various petitions filed by students pressing for their right of wearing hijab in the educational institutes. The judgment was reserved by a full bench of Karnataka High Court consisting of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices Krishna S Dixit and JM Khazi on petitions challenging the state government’s order which effectively bans the wearing of hijab in educational institutions in the state.
The court asked the petitioners to file written submissions, if any, before the Bench.
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Earlier on Thursday, the Chief Justice of the High Court Ritu Raj Awasthi, who is part of the three-judge bench, told the counsels that the arguments should be finished by Friday. He also asked the parties to give their written submissions within two to three days.
Meanwhile, in his rejoinder argument advocate, Devadatt Kamat said his client studies in a co-education college where she got admitted two years ago. According to him, she was in the habit of wearing a Hijab from the time she joined the college but suddenly the restriction was imposed and she was forced not to wear it anymore.
Kamat told the court that he is not asking for any general declaration on Hijab that it is part of an essential religious practice but his contention was the government order on February 5, which barred everyone from wearing clothes that could disturb peace, harmony, and public order. According to him, the GO cannot stand and it has to be quashed.
“If the GO goes there is no restriction on the exercise of a fundamental right under Article 25,” the lawyer argued.
In reply, the Chief Justice sought to know how can he insist on wearing the hijab in an institution which has a uniform and which fundamental right the petitioner has? He also asked Kamat to establish that Hijab is part of religious practice. “We are not talking about any restriction. We are just talking about your right which you insist for,” CJ Awasthi said.
Responding, Kamat told the bench that the right derives from Quran and Hadis.
How Hijab Controversy Started?
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On January 1, six girl students of a college in Udupi attended a press conference held by the CFI in the coastal town protesting against the college authorities denying them entry into classrooms wearing hijab.
This was four days after they requested the principal permission to wear hijab in classes which was not allowed. Till then, students used to wear the headscarf to the campus, but entered the classroom after removing it, college principal Rudre Gowda had said.
“The institution did not have any rule on hijab-wearing since no one used to wear it to the classroom in the last 35 years. The students who came with the demand had the backing of outside forces,” Gowda had said.
(With agency inputs)
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