Mumbai College bans hijab, burqa
Mumbai College bans hijab, burqa(EdexLive photo)

Mumbai college imposes ban on hijab, burqa; high court refuses to interfere

Earlier, this month, the students moved the high court challenging a directive issued by the Chembur Trombay Education Society's NG Acharya and DK Marathe College imposing a dress code

Today, Wednesday, June 26, the Bombay High Court (HC) refused to interfere in a decision taken by a city-based college to impose a ban on the hijab, burka and naqab on its premises. 

A division bench of Justices AS Chandurkar and Rajesh Patil said it was not inclined to interfere in the decision taken by the college and dismissed a petition filed against it by nine female students, who are in the second and third year of a Science degree course, as stated in a report by PTI

Earlier, this month, the students moved the high court challenging a directive issued by the Chembur Trombay Education Society's NG Acharya and DK Marathe College imposing a dress code under which students cannot wear a hijab, naqab, burka, stoles, caps and badges inside the premises.

The petitioners claimed such a directive was against their fundamental rights to practice their religion, right to privacy and right to choice. The plea termed the college's action as "arbitrary, unreasonable, bad-in-law and perverse".

The petitioner's advocate, Altaf Khan, last week submitted before the HC certain verses from the Quran to support their claim that wearing a hijab was an essential part of Islam. Apart from the right to practice their religion, the petitioners were also relying on their right to choice and privacy while opposing the college's decision, he said.

College's response
The college had claimed the decision to ban hijab, naqab and burka in its premises was merely a disciplinary action for the uniform dress code and was not against the Muslim community. Senior counsel Anil Anturkar, appearing for the college management, said the dress code was for all students belonging to every religion and caste.


However, the girls claimed in their plea that such a directive was "nothing but colourable exercise of power".

They initially requested the college management and principal to withdraw the restriction on naqab, burka and hijab and allow it "as a matter of right of choice, dignity and privacy in the classroom". Additionally, they raised their grievance against the notice with the chancellor, vice-chancellor of Mumbai University and the University Grants Commission (UGC), requesting their intervention "to upkeep the spirit of imparting education to all citizens without discrimination".

However, when the students did not get any response, they filed a petition in the HC, as stated in a report by PTI.

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