Hijab ban issue reaches Supreme Court

A larger Bench of the Karnataka High Court will hear a batch of petitions today against the ban on wearing hijab by certain Karnataka colleges.

hijab

The Hijab Ban controversy in Karnataka, which has sparked protests across the country, has now reached the Supreme Court.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal today indicated that a petition has been filed “with respect to what is happening in Karnataka”.

He sought to make an urgent mentioning of the same before Chief Justice of India NV Ramana.

“This deals with what’s happening in Karnataka. It’s spreading all over the county. In the meantime, exams are two months away,” he said.

However, CJI Ramana said,

“Wait, Mr. Sibal. Let the High Court decide. You want the matter to be transferred?”

When Sibal suggested that the matter be listed and no orders be passed on it for now, the Court said,

“The problem is now if we list the matter, the High Court will never hear it. Wait for one or two days.”

Meanwhile, a Full Bench of the Karnataka High Court comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices Krishna S Dixit and JM Khazi will hear a batch of petitions filed by female Muslims students against the ban on wearing hijab by certain Karnataka colleges. This, after Justice Dixit, sitting as a single judge, referred the matter to a larger bench on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Court urged the student community and the public at large to maintain peace and tranquillity in the wake of protests against the order.

The State has defended the ban, saying that it is not interfering with religious beliefs, and that educational institutions are not places to profess any particular religion.

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday referred the batch of petitions filed by Muslim girl students in the State to larger bench. The petitions claimed that the girls are not being allowed to enter colleges on account of the government order which effectively bans the wearing of hijab (headscarves).

The petitioners state that Muslim students have been wearing their regular headscarf over their college uniform from the time they started studying in the college, and that there is a specific provision in the college rulebook which permits Muslim girl students to wear a headscarf.

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