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HomeNews ReportsSupreme Court refuses early hearing of appeal against Karnataka HC's Hijab verdict, asks pro-Hijab...

Supreme Court refuses early hearing of appeal against Karnataka HC’s Hijab verdict, asks pro-Hijab lawyer not to sensationalise the issue

Citing exams, senior advocate Devadatt Kamat argued before the apex court asking them to hear the appeal on an urgent basis.

The Supreme Court refused an early hearing of the appeals against the Karnataka High Court verdict that effectively upheld the ban on wearing hijab in educational institutions in the state.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court declined to give any specific date for the hearing of the hijab pleas challenging the Karnataka high court order.

Citing exams, senior advocate Devadatt Kamat argued before the apex court, asking them to hear the appeal on an urgent basis. Advocate Kamat said the students have their exams on March 28, and if they are not allowed inside the classroom without hijab, they will lose a year.

However, Chief Justice NV Ramana said, “Exams have nothing to do with the issue. Don’t sensationalise.” The court noted that it would hear the case in due course.

Earlier, the top court had refused to hear the appeal urgently and had posted the matter after the Holi break. 

On March 15, the Karnataka High Court had upheld a government order (GO) that empowered college development committees of government colleges in the state to ban all religious attires inside the college premises and mandate unform dress codes.

A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices Krishna S Dixit and JM Khazi had held that the hijab was not an essential religious practice and hence the constitutional articles that grant religious freedom cannot be used to violate the uniform dress code rules mandated by respective educational institutions.

Hijab row

The hijab controversy in Karnataka gained momentum since the first week of January after eight Muslim girls were denied entry to classes in a Udupi college because they were wearing hijab in violation of the college’s uniform rules. The college authorities had informed that the hijab was not a part of the uniform dress code mandated for the students.

The Muslim girls, with the support of Islamic organisations like CFI then filed a petition in High Court seeking permission to attend classes with hijab. They stated that wearing the hijab was their ‘fundamental right’ granted under Articles 14 and 25 of the Indian Constitution and ‘integral practice of Islam’.

The controversy spiralled as Hindu students in Karnataka styled with saffron scarves around their necks and protested against Muslim girls continuing to wear hijab to the college. Tensions also prevailed at some educational institutions in Udupi, Shivamogga, Bagalkote, and other parts, as stones-pelting and violence were reported from various parts of the state.

As reported earlier, the students had begun to wear hijab to schools and colleges after meeting the Campus Front of India (CFI), the student branch of the Islamist organization Popular Front of India (PFI), in October 2021. The students confessed that they had been in touch with the CFI.

The Udupi college where the issue had first broken out, has stated that they have over 100 Muslim students and most of them have been following the uniform dress code. Only a few girls, after visiting with a CFI lawyer, had started demanding the right to wear Hijabs inside classrooms.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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