On Tuesday (February 8), the Karnataka High Court began hearing four petitions filed in connection to the ongoing Hijab row at a pre-University College (PUC) in Udupi. The controversy began on January 1 this year when 6 female Muslim students tried to enter their classes with a Hijab but were denied permission by the school principal.
As per reports, senior advocate Devadatt Kamat appeared on behalf of the Muslim petitioners and argued in favour of wearing hijab in schools. He claimed that the headscarf is an integral part of the Islamic dress code. Kamat also quoted authentic Hadiths while reiterating his claims.
“Wearing of hijab is protected by the right to expression under Article 19(1)(a) and can be restricted only on grounds under Article 19(6),” he further argued.
The senior advocate claimed that wearing hijab fell under the right to privacy as recognised under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Kamat said that recent order by the Karnataka government, regarding dress codes at schools, is outside the scope of Karnataka Education Rules and that the State has no jurisdiction to issue the same.
Kamat and his association with the Congress party
It must be mentioned that Devadatt Kamat was appointed as the Chairman of the legal coordination committee of the Congress party in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh elections. The committee was formed to coordinate with the Election Commission of India (ECI) in light of the Assembly elections. His appointment was made by the Central Committee of the Congress.
3. You can also see his association with Congress in this tweet by Congress member Srinivas. pic.twitter.com/vObkzBIWdH— Vijay Patel🇮🇳 (@vijaygajera) February 8, 2022
Kamat is a native of Karwar, which is located in the Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka. He was earlier appointed as the Additional Advocate General to the Government of Karnataka during the Congress-JDS reign in the State. In 2019, he was elevated to the status of ‘senior advocate’ in the Supreme Court of India.
Investigative journalist Vijay Patel pointed out that Devdatt Kamat had fought several cases on the behest of the Congress party and its allies. Kamat was the advocate for the Mumbai police in the fake TRP scam case against Republic TV and its Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.
6. He was also a lawyer of Congress, Shiv sena, and NCP in the Maharashtra government formation case. pic.twitter.com/BxAlg4lsoF— Vijay Patel🇮🇳 (@vijaygajera) February 8, 2022
Kamat was also part of the legal team for the Maha Vikas Aghadi government after Shiv Sena ditched its ally BJP to side with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Vijay Patel also pointed out that the Supreme Court advocate represented the Mumbai police in the media trial in Sushant Singh Rajput Case. In visuals shared by the investigative journalist, Kamat was seen handing out masks, oximeters during the second wave of Covid-19 along with other Congress workers
Advocate Devadatt Kamat also peddled fake news
Following the footsteps of Congress scion Rahul Gandhi, Devadatt Kamat had also peddled fake news on social media. Recently, he dubbed a video of a family banter between an uncle-nephew duo as ‘Hindutva hegemony on the streets’.
He tweeted,” Classic case of Hindutva hegemony on the streets. These kinds of political bullies should be shamed and exposed.” Kamat was responding to a video posted by Tehseen Poonawalla, wherein he alleged that a BJP councillor from Govind Nagar(Kanpur) had threatened a senior citizen who favours voting against the saffron party.
In the video shared by Arvind, BJP councillor Raghavendra Mishra could be seen accosting and asking the senior citizen to support the BJP. The old man, on the other hand, who appeared to be against the BJP, fiercely stood his ground, asking Mishra as to why he should support the saffron party. Later, it was revealed that it was friendly banter between the two and the senior citizen is Mishra’s uncle.
“The video that had gone viral was an internal matter of our family. I am related to his(Raghavendra Mishra) father. We may be supporters of different parties but we share an affectionate bond with each other. The video of fighting between us was all in fun. He was trying to persuade me to support BJP and I was countering him why should I support the saffron party,” Mishra’s uncle said.
Despite this, Devadatt Kamat did not correct his tweet or issue a clarification to let the fake narrative of ‘Hindutva hegemony’ go unabated.