Karnataka: SC assures to consider listing hijab ban before 3-judge bench

23 January, 2023 | Pragati Singh

hijab National

The Supreme Court informed petitioners on Monday that the subject related to the prohibition of Hijab in Karnataka educational facilities will be listed.

The Supreme Court informed petitioners on Monday that the subject related to the prohibition of Hijab in Karnataka educational facilities will be listed. Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora raised the issue of headscarves in front of a bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud. According to Arora, several girls have missed out on the full year because they refused to remove their hijab.

She also informed the court about practicals in educational establishments in February and requested an expedited hearing for interim orders. A bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud guaranteed that the issue will be listed and a date set. The highest court further stated that the case will be handled by a three-judge bench.

The court directed the counsel to bring the case before the registrar.
The Supreme Court has ruled on many petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court judgement upholding the prohibition of Hijab in educational institutions.

The appeal was denied by Justice Hemant Gupta, but permitted by Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia. Due to differing viewpoints, the case was brought to the Chief Justice of India for suitable instruction.
The decision was made by two judges, Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia.

The court was considering different petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court’s judgement to uphold the Karnataka Government’s decision to require educational establishments to prescribe uniforms.

Several petitioners have petitioned the Supreme Court, contesting the Karnataka High Court’s ruling upholding the Karnataka government’s order for rigorous enforcement of uniform norms in schools and institutions.

One of the appeals in the top court has alleged “step-motherly behaviour of government authorities which has prevented students from practising their faith and resulted in an unwanted law and order situation”.

The appeal said the High Court in its impugned order “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”.

A Karnataka High Court bench comprised of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit, and Justice JM Khazi previously held that the prescription of uniform is a reasonable restriction to which students cannot object and dismissed various petitions challenging a ban on Hijab in educational institutions as without merit.

The Hijab controversy began in January 2022, when the Government PU College in Udupi allegedly refused entry to six students wearing the hijab. Following this, the females demonstrated outside the institution in protest of being denied admission.

Following this, lads from numerous colleges in Udupi began wearing saffron scarves to class. This protest expanded to other regions of the state, resulting in protests and agitations in various locations around Karnataka.

As a result, the Karnataka government mandated that all students wear the uniform and prohibited both hijab and saffron scarves until an expert committee ruled on the matter.

The pre-university education board issued a circular on February 5 declaring that students may only wear the uniform approved by the school administration and that no other religious garb would be permitted in institutions.