Published: 26th April 2022
Plea against Karnataka hijab ban verdict shall be listed in the SC in two days, says CJI
The Karnataka HC had said that wearing the hijab wasn't an essential religious practice and thus could not be protected under Article 25, on February 5
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the pleas against the verdict of the Karnataka High Court, which had maintained that wearing the hijab was not an essential Islamic practice and thus had dismissed the petitions seeking to wear the headscarves in classrooms. The Supreme Court made this announcement on April 26.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli made note of the submissions of senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, who had stated that the plea needed an urgent hearing. The Chief Justice then said that he would list the pleas after two days, noted a PTI report. Advocate Arora is appearing in the case for one of the petitioners.
In one of the pleas filed at the apex court, it has been claimed that the High Court has "erred in creating a dichotomy of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience wherein the court has inferred that those who follow a religion cannot have the right to conscience," the PTI report mentioned. The plea also states that the right to wear the hijab comes under Article 21 (Right to Privacy), as the freedom of conscience forms a part of the right to privacy. The petitioners additionally maintained that the restriction violated the freedom of expression under Article 19(1)(A) and Article 21 dealing with personal liberty.
The Karnataka hijab row has been going on for a couple of months now. The Karnataka High Court had dismissed the petitions of a section of Muslim students from the Government Pre-University Girls College in Udupi, seeking permission to wear the hijab inside their classrooms. The HC had said that wearing the hijab wasn't an essential religious practice and thus could not be protected under Article 25, as the petitioners had demanded. The HC verdict had been issued on February 5, 2022.
Based on this verdict, the Karnataka government had banned the hijab in classrooms, stating that the prescription of the school uniform was reasonable and constitutional, and any clothes that disturbed equality, integrity and public order in schools and colleges were not permitted. Several pleas had been filed in the Supreme Court challenging this verdict.