Karnataka Govt Tells High Court Hijab Is Not An Essential Religious Practice

by Swarajya Staff - Feb 18, 2022 08:45 PM +05:30 IST
Karnataka Govt Tells High Court Hijab Is Not An Essential Religious PracticeStudents in Hijab (Representative Image)

Karnataka government on Friday told the High Court that sporting the Hijab is not an essential religious practice of Islam.

Advocate General Prabhulinga Navadgi made his arguments before the bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices Krishna S Dixit and JM Khazi. Navadgi said the the state takes the stand that the Hijab is not an essential religious practice of Islam. In response to the petitioner’s argument that the right to wear Hijab can be traced to Article 19 (1) (a) and that its prevention a violation of the same, the state argued that it does not do so.

“Hijab certainly comes under the manifest exercise of the right to practice religion. It is a right they are exercising pursuant to religion” submitted the AG as reported by LiveLaw.

The state also expressed hurt at being ‘berated in the proceedings’ and how it is alleged that the state is dictated by some other reasons and that it is discriminating against girls and women. “With absolute humility we say, State believes in treating everyone equally, submitted the Navadgi.

The state also submitted that the practice of wearing Hijab must pass the test of constitutional morality laid down by the Supreme Court in the judgements in the Sabarimala and the Triple Talaq cases, acording to Bar and Bench.

Advocate Sirajudin Ahmad argued that even those schools that were earlier permitting Muslim students to wear the Hijab were now refusing to do so and that the order of the court has not been understood clearly. But the court pointed our defects in his application and asked him to file a fresh plea.

Advocate General also clarified about the Government Order being called into question and submittted that it was in consonance with the Karnataka Education Act. Tracing the background of the GO saying it was passed on February 5 only after the protests intensified.

Tracing the background, the Advocate General explained that the prescription of Uniform has been around since 2013 and there was a resolution by the College Development Committee to change it On 1 January 2022. Since the High Level Committee appointed by the state was to deliberate on the issue, another resolution was passed on 25 January to maintain status quo. On 31 January, a third resolution prohibiting the sporting of the Hijab and that disciplinary action would be taken if parents flout the rule. Navadgi told the court that this resolution was not under challenge before the High Court or any other forum. But since protests against the rule intensified, the state had to issue a GO on 5 February.

Meanwhile the college where this entire row kickstarted reopened today after a break of ten days. Heavily guarded by police force including the state reserve police force, the college opened its gates for students once again, but as per reports, permitted only those appearing for practical exams that have been scheduled.

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