Wearing Hijab Matter Of Choice: Today, two Supreme Court judges disagreed on whether Karnataka’s ban on the hijab in classrooms should be maintained or repealed, calling for a larger bench to hear the case.
Despite a split verdict, the two-judge bench agreed that “there is a divergence of opinion” and recommended that a three-judge bench be convened to decide whether to uphold the ban.
While Justice Hemant Gupta supported the ban on hijab in educational institutions, Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia disagreed and said the ban should be lifted since girls’ education is the most important.
His main focus should have been on choice, he said.
Ultimately, it is a matter of choice, nothing more, nothing else,” said Justice Dhulia.
My top priority was education for the girl child. The education of the girl child was my top priority. A girl child in (many) areas does household work and chores before going to school and is this (hijab ban) improving her life?” he said.
In his order, Justice Gupta raised 11 questions, including:
Should the appeal be referred to a Constitutional Bench?
Colleges can decide what students’ uniforms should look like
Whether wearing the hijab and restricting it violates the right to freedom of religion (Article 25)
Article 25 (Freedom of expression) and Article 19 (Freedom of speech) are mutually exclusive
Fundamental rights are violated by the Karnataka ban
Under Islam, does wearing the hijab constitute an essential practice?
Access to education is served by the government order
According to Justice Gupta, the answer is against the appellant. He dismissed the appeal.
A ban on the hijab on campus has been challenged by Muslim students in Karnataka. According to the February 5 ban order, hijabs are “that disturb equality, integrity, and public order in schools and colleges” and are comparable to bindis and turbans worn by Hindus and Sikhs.
Karnataka High Court refused to lift the ban and dismissed Muslim students’ request to wear the hijab in class, ruling that it is not essential to practice Islam.
In the Supreme Court, the students challenged the High Court’s order.
Lawyers for the Muslim girls argued in the Supreme Court that preventing them from wearing the hijab in class would jeopardize their education.
According to the Karnataka government, the ban is “religion-neutral”.
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