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Bombay High Court Upholds Hijab Ban Decision Of Mumbai College; Here's What Was Argued

Swarajya Staff

Jun 26, 2024, 02:46 PM | Updated 02:46 PM IST

Bombay High Court. (Source: Twitter)
Bombay High Court. (Source: Twitter)

On Wednesday (26 June), the Bombay High Court upheld a decision by a Mumbai-based college to ban hijab, burka and naqab on its premises, refusing to intervene, according to a report from The New Indian Express.

A division bench of justices A S Chandurkar and Rajesh Patil has dismissed a petition filed by nine female students in the second and third year of a science degree course, challenging the college’s directive.

The students filed the petition earlier this month against the Chembur Trombay Education Society's NG Acharya and DK Marathe College, which had imposed a dress code prohibiting hijabs, naqabs, burkas, stoles, caps, and badges inside the college.

The petitioners argued that the directive violated their fundamental rights, including the right to practise their religion, right to privacy, and right to choice. They further described the college's action as "arbitrary, unreasonable, bad-in-law and perverse".

Altaf Khan, the petitioners' advocate, presented verses from the Quran to support their claim that wearing the hijab is an essential part of Islam. The students also cited their rights to choice and privacy in opposing the college's decision.

The college defended its decision as a disciplinary measure for a uniform dress code, asserting it was not targeted at the Muslim community.

Senior counsel Anil Anturkar, representing the college, stated that the dress code applied to all students, regardless of religion or caste.

They initially requested the college management and principal to revoke the restrictions on naqab, burka, and hijab, arguing it should be allowed as a matter of choice, dignity, and privacy in the classroom.

The students also raised their concerns with the chancellor, vice chancellor of Mumbai University, and the University Grants Commission, seeking intervention. After receiving no response, they filed the petition in the High Court.

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