Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Supreme Court’s Ruling On School Uniforms in the Karnataka Hijab Ban Case

The Supreme Court was hearing arguments on a series of pleas challenging the Karnataka High Court’s verdict that refused to lift the hijab ban in the state’s educational institutions. A person has the right to practice their religion but the question is whether they can be taken to school wearing the prescribed uniform, the Supreme […]

The Supreme Court was hearing arguments on a series of pleas challenging the Karnataka High Court’s verdict that refused to lift the hijab ban in the state’s educational institutions.

A person has the right to practice their religion but the question is whether they can be taken to school wearing the prescribed uniform, the Supreme Court observed on Monday while hearing a case relating to the ban on hijab in educational institutions in Karnataka.

The Supreme Court, hearing arguments on a batch of pleas challenging the Karnataka High Court’s verdict that refused to lift the hijab ban in the state’s educational institutions, asked whether a student can wear a hijab to a school where a uniform is prescribed.

“You can exercise your right to religion as you wish. But can you practice and take that right to a school which has a uniform as part of the dress you have to wear? The question will be that “Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia’s bench made the statement.

The Supreme Court referred the question to senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, who was representing some of the petitioners.

On the argument that banning the hijab could deny women education, the court said the state was not saying it was denying any right. “The state says you are coming in the uniform that is prescribed for students.,” it read.

Mr. Hegde emphasized that the Supreme Court’s decision, in this case, will affect the education of a large section of society. The provisions of the 1983 Karnataka Education Act were also mentioned.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) K M Nataraj said the issue was very limited and related to discipline in educational institutions.

When the magistrate interrogated him “How can a female who is covering her head violate the school’s regulations?”, the ASG replied: “Someone under the guise of their religious practice or religious right cannot say I have the right to do that, that’s why they want to violate school discipline.”

Karnataka Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi referred to the state government’s February 5, 2022 order banning the wearing of clothing that violates equality, integrity, and public order in schools and colleges, which was challenged by some Muslim girls in the High Court.

Mr. Navadgi claimed that the uniforms were prescribed not by the state but by the respective educational institutions. “This order of the government does not interfere with any rights of students,” he said at the arguments, which will continue on September 7.


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