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Supreme Court pulls up Karnataka hijab petitioners for seeking adjournment, says will not permit ‘forum shopping’

The apex court was hearing almost 23 petitions filed challenging the Karnataka HC order upholding the Hijab Ban.

On Monday, August 29, the Supreme Court pulled up the Muslim student petitioners who sought an adjournment in the Hijab ban case, stating that it would not tolerate “this kind of forum shopping. The court also issued a notice to the Karnataka government on petitions challenging a High Court ruling refusing to lift the ban on hijab in state educational institutions.

The bench comprising of justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia stated that it will not entertain a plea filed by some Muslim student petitioners seeking adjournment since an early hearing was sought by the petitioners themselves.

The apex court was hearing almost 23 petitions filed challenging the Karnataka HC order upholding the Hijab Ban.

On July 13, the petitioners’ lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, requested an urgent listing of the pleas. Bhushan claimed that the ban was causing female students who wanted to wear the hijab to fall behind in their studies.

Chief Justice Lalit’s predecessor, NV Ramana, had stated that the case will be heard by the Supreme Court a week later. The petitions, however, were not listed. On August 2, Ramana stated that this was due to the fact that the judges who were meant to hear the petitions were ill.

The next hearing date in the case has been set as September 5.

Muslim girl student moves SC after Karnataka HC dismisses petitions saying hijab is not an essential religious practice

In March 2022, hours after the Karnataka High Court dismissed the collective pleas by Muslim student petitioners against the ban on wearing the hijab (headscarf) in classrooms, the latter moved the Supreme Court against the verdict.

The petition filed in the apex court by a Muslim student named Niba Namaz through Advocate Anas Tanvir challenged the Karnataka High Court verdict in the hijab case. This challenge came after the High Court upheld the ban on religious symbols in pre-university colleges, stating that the hijab is not an essential practice of the Islamic faith.

SC agrees to hear petition against HC verdict

The Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition challenging the Karnataka High Court’s verdict regarding the hijab ban in the upcoming week.

After hearing both counsels today, the apex court accepted Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s request and issued a notice to the Karnataka government for their response, and posted the matter for hearing on September 5.

Karnataka Hijab row

A major controversy erupted in Karnataka in January 2022 after a Udupi school prohibited hijab inside classrooms. Some Muslim girl students, supported by PFI had appealed against this in the Karnataka High Court. On February 25, the court reserved its decision on the case. Protests, allegations, and counter-allegations occurred in response to the hijab ban.

The Karnataka High Court declared on March 15 that wearing a headscarf does not constitute an essential Islamic practice as the petitioners failed to provide evidence in that regard. The Karnataka High Court dismissed all petitions contesting the hijab ban in Karnataka schools and decided that the rules for the uniform dress were fair and that students can not object to respective dress codes mandated by educational institutions.

A Full Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna Dixit, and Justice JM Khazi pronounced the decision. The Bench ascertained that the petitioners’ basic rights were not violated by a uniform dress code at educational institutions.

Following that, Muslim students from Karnataka petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the judgment of the Karnataka High Court.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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