The Karnataka high court declared on Tuesday hijab is not an integral aspect of Islam, thus reinforcing the state government’s ban on Muslim girls and women wearing the head scarf at academic institutions.
The 3-judge bench of justice Krishna S Dixit, chief justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, as well as justice JM Khazi stated they formed a few questions and answered them after taking a holistic perspective of the case.
The issues raised namely whether wearing hijab would be an essential religious practise under the Islamic faith that is shielded under Article 25 of the Indian Constitution; if the requirement of school uniform is a violation of studen““““““““““““““““““““““““““`QQts’ rights below Articles 19 (A) (free expression) as well as 21 (right to privacy); or whether the government order on February 5 is a violation of students’ rights below Article 19 (A) (freedom of expression) and 21 (right to privacy) “issued without application of mind with manifestly arbitrary”.
Chief Justice Awasthi delivered out the decision, saying, “We are of the considered opinion that wearing of a hijab by Muslim women does not form part of the essential religious practice in the Islamic faith. The answer to the second question is that we are of the considered opinion that prescription of a school uniform is only a reasonable restriction, constitutionally permissible, which the students cannot object to. The answer to the third question is that the government has the power to issue an order and no case is made of its invalidation.”
What Triggered the Debate?
The bench, which was formed on February 9, has been hearing a batch of petitions filed by some females requesting right to wear hijab within academic institutions on a day-to-day routine for the past two weeks. On December 28, the girls were denied admission to a pre-university government college for girls throughout Udupi due to their headscarves, which sparked the debate.
The high court issued an interim ruling on February 10 stating that pupils must not wear religious clothing to class until the hearing is completed. It reiterated the ruling on February 23, stating that it applies to all degree as well as PU colleges with a dress code.