K’taka HC dismisses plea seeking permission to wear hijab in classrooms

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court’s special bench on Tuesday dismissed petitions filed by students seeking direction for permission to wear hijab in classrooms.

The court said, “Wearing of hijab was not an essential part of Islam.”

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

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

Further details of the judgement were awaited.

Earlier, as a precautionary measure, security was beefed up across the state. Holiday was declared in the districts of Dakshina Kannada, Kalaburagi and Shivamogga for the schools and colleges.

Most of the districts imposed prohibitory orders in the surrounding areas of the educational institutions. Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant issued prohibitory orders restricting protests, celebrations and gatherings in the entire city for seven days from Monday.

The hijab row, which started as a protest by six students of the Udupi Pre-University Girl’s College in January, turned into a big crisis and was also discussed at the international levels.

The bench headed by the Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S. Dixit and Justice Jaiunnesa Mohiyuddin Khaji heard the matter on a daily basis.

The counsels appearing for the petitioners contended that restrictions on 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 said.

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 hijab and it had been left to the discretion of SDMC and SDC’s.

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

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