Karnataka HC Dismisses Hijab Plea; Contends Wearing of Hijab is Not Essential Part of Islam

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday dismissed petitions seeking permission to wear ‘hijab’ in classrooms, saying that wearing of hijab is not an essential part of Islam.

“The prescription of uniform is constitutional and students can’t object to it.”

The court has dismissed all the petitions filed by the students. The bench stated that no case was made out by the petitioners.

Security was beefed up across the state earlier in anticipation of violence. The districts of Dakshina Kannada, Kalaburagi, and Shivamogga announced a holiday for schools and colleges.

Many districts imposed prohibitory orders in areas nearby educational institutions. Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant issued prohibitory orders restricting protests, celebrations, and gatherings in Bangalore for seven days from Monday.

The special bench of the Karnataka HC, headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S. Dixit, and Justice Jaiunnesa Mohiyuddin Khaji was hearing the matter on a daily basis.

Counsel for the petitioners had contended that restriction on wearing hijab to classrooms is a violation of fundamental and religious rights. There is no legal standing for the School Development Committee (SDC) or College Development Committee (CDMC), they had argued.

They also argued that wearing of hijab is an integral part of Islam. However, the Advocate General and other counsels appearing for the government argued that wearing of hijab is not an essential part of Islam. They have also stated that the government respects the wearing of the hijab and it had been left to the discretion of SDMC and SDCs.

It was also brought to the notice of the court that many Islamic and European countries have banned the hijab from public places.

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