Friday, February 3, 2023

Hijab Row: Right of Religion does not permit students to wear anything at government institutions which has a prescribed uniform

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The Supreme Court today heard the pleas challenging the verdict on hijab ban in educational institutions imposed by the Karnataka High Court. 

Senior Advocate Devdutt Kamat, who appeared for petitioners, said such a matter of constitutional importance must be heard on a non-miscellaneous day.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for Karnataka state, on Monday opposed the petitioner’s request for postponing hearing.

A bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia in the morning got a request from petitioner to adjourn the case today and to schedule a hearing on a non-miscellaneous day, but it was rejected.

This is not acceptable. You asked for early hearing time and again. Now, it is listed and you ask for this,” said a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia

During the hearing of the appeals challenging the ban on wearing hijab in government colleges of Karnataka, the Apex Court questioned the appellants if students can come wearing whatever they choose to in a government institution which has a prescribed uniform.

A Bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia also remarked that the Karnataka government’s order allowing college development committees to prescribe uniform does not violate right to education.

Justice Gupta said You say educational institution cannot issue a rule but what about the State unless there is a statute which prohibits dress code. So tell me can a student come in minis, midis, whatever they want?

The bench said that it is true that every person has the right to practice is religion but the issue is whether the same can be taken inside an education institution which has prescribed a dress code.

The bench remarked You may have a religious right but can you take that right within an educational institution where an uniform is prescribed. You may be entitled to wear the hijab or scarf, can you carry the right within an educational institution which prescribes uniform. They are not denying right to education what they are saying as State is you come in the uniform.”

The hearing in the case will continue on September 7 at 2 pm.

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