Sunday, December 3, 2023

SC reserves order on petitions challenging Karnataka HC upholding ban on Hijab in educational institutes

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On multiple petitions against the Karnataka High Court’s maintaining a ban on the hijab in educational institutions, the Supreme Court on Thursday deferred making a decision.

After the parties presenting from both sides of the case had finished speaking, a bench of justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia reserved their ruling. There were 21 lawyers representing the petitioner throughout the 10-day arguments, while the respondents’ attorneys were represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, and Karnataka Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi.

The Karnataka High Court’s ruling upholding the state government’s directive to educational institutions to prescribe uniforms at educational institutes was being challenged in court by a number of parties.

In his remarks to the court, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave said that the Popular Front of India was not included in the Karnataka Government Circular that enforced a clothing code. The petitioner was being represented by Senior Advocate Dave.

Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid, representing the petitioner, refuted the respondent’s position by pointing out that France and Turkey were used as instances in the respondent’s arguments. Khurshid said that it is prohibited to show anything, including a cross, in public that reflects religious conviction.

The Karnataka High Court ruling upholding the Karnataka government’s order for rigorous enforcement of schools’ and institutions’ uniform regulations has been challenged by a number of petitioners in front of the Supreme Court.

“Step-motherly behaviour of the government authorities has hindered students from practising their faith and resulting in an undesired law and order scenario,” according to one of the petitions at the highest court.

The High Court “had vehemently failed to apply its mind and was unable to understand the gravity of the situation as well as the core aspect of the Essential Religious Practices enshrined under Article 25 of the Constitution of India,” according to the appeal, which was filed in response to the impugned order.

However, Karnataka High Court’s bench, which included Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S. Dixit, and Justice J.M. Khazi, had previously ruled that the requirement of the uniform is a reasonable restriction to which students cannot object and that numerous petitions contesting the prohibition of the hijab in educational institutions are without merit.

When the Government PU College in Udupi purportedly forbade six females wearing the hijab from attending, the hijab controversy arose in January of this year. After being turned away from the college, the females sat in protest outside.

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