Published: 16th March 2022
Will consider Hijab matter after Holi vacation, says Supreme Court after petitioners claim urgency for exams
Petitions challenge the Karnataka High Court's full Bench verdict in the case, which held that wearing hijab is not a part of the essential religious practice in Islam
The Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 16 was urged by Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde to list the petitions filed against the Karnataka High Court's verdict in the hijab case urgently in light of the approaching exams, and its impact on a number of students.
"The urgency is that there are many girls who have to appear in examinations," the senior lawyer told the Bench led by the Chief Justice of India, CV Ramana, which also comprised Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli, according to news agency PTI. "Others also mentioned, let us see we will list after the vacations. Give us time," the CJI said. The petitions challenge the Karnataka High Court's full bench verdict in the case, which held that wearing hijab is not a part of the essential religious practice in Islam and is not protected under the right to freedom of religion guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution.
The Karnataka High Court's verdict said that hijab was not an essential religious practice, and therefore would not be guaranteed any protection under Article 25. It also said that educational institutions imposing their prescribed uniform can prevent students from wearing hijab inside the classroom. The order has now been challenged in the Apex Court by a student, Niba Naaz, who claims that the verdict failed to see that hijab is protected under the right to freedom of conscience under Article 25 of the constitution, and therefore the question of testing it under the ambit of an essential religious practice does not arise. The Supreme Court has also seen another petition filed against the order by Aisha Shifat, who is a student of a Government Pre-University College in Udupi where the controversy first took its roots.
The petition also mentions examples of various laws making exceptions for allowing people to sport their religious symbols, including the Ministry of Aviation, which allows Sikhs to carry a kirpan on the flight.