Published: 14th October 2022
Additional police deployed in 'sensitive' areas in K'taka after hijab verdict
The state government has said that the ban on hijab in educational institutions will continue as the final decision on the matter is awaited from the Chief Justice of India
The government of Karnataka has deployed additional police personnel in sensitive areas in the state following the split verdict by the Supreme Court on Thursday, October 13, on the petitions challenging the hijab ban in the southern state of Karnataka in educational institutions. The government has already announced that the ban on hijab in educational institutions in the state will continue, pending the final decision in the Supreme Court, as the case has now been placed before Chief Justice UU Lalit for consideration.
In light of the split verdict, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said that additional police personnel have been deployed in sensitive areas. "The case has been transferred to the CJI Bench. It depends on what the CJI will decide on the matter. We are waiting for the judgement of the Supreme Court. We have taken enough security measures and have deployed additional police personnel in sensitive areas," he said, according to a report by ANI.
It was state education minister BC Nagesh who said that the ban on wearing hijab in educational institutions in the state will remain for now. Shortly after the Supreme Court delivered its split verdict, the minister said "we expect a better judgement" and added that "women worldwide are demanding to not wear hijab and burqa". He also remarked that organisations supporting the wearing of hijab in educational institutions are "using hijab to split the society".
The Karnataka High Court's verdict was challenged in the Supreme Court and after a marathon round of hearings, a Two-judge Bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia pronounced the split verdict yesterday, October 13. While Justice Hemant Gupta dismissed the bunch of petitions challenging the March 15 verdict of the Karnataka High Court, Justice Dhulia said that asking girls to remove their hijab was an attack on their dignity, privacy and right to education, as he allowed the petitions and set aside the verdict of the court.
The arguments in the matter went on for 10 days in which 21 lawyers from the petitioners' side and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, Karnataka Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi argued for the respondents. One of the appeals in the top court had alleged "step-motherly behaviour of government authorities which has prevented students from practising their faith and resulted in an unwanted law and order situation," reported ANI.
The appeal said that the High Court, in its impugned order, "had vehemently failed to apply its mind and was unable to understand the gravity of the situation as well as the core aspect of the Essential Religious Practices enshrined under Article 25 of the Constitution of India."
A Bench of Karnataka High Court comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khazi had earlier held that the prescription of uniform is a reasonable restriction that students could not object to and dismissed various petitions challenging a ban on hijab in education institutions, imposed by the government of Karnataka in February this year.