Another petition has been filed before the Karnataka High Court against the Hijab ban in colleges, the third such petition to be filed in this regard before the High Court.
The latest petition has been filed by two Muslim students pursuing BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) at Bhandarkar College of Art and Science in Kundapura.
The plea claimed that the petitioners being denied entry into their college which is under Mangalore University.
All the three petitions will be heard by the Bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit at the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday.
The latest petition stated that the petitioners, like other 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.
However, for the first time on February 3, 2022 the petitioners and other Muslim girl students were prevented from entering the college and attending classes by the principal and staff, who told them that there was a Government order against wearing a hijab.
When some of the students and their parents visited the college to resolve the matter, the principal said that he was under political pressure from the local MLA, Halady Srinivas Shetty, under whose directions the college had to act upon.
The MLA has been named as the third respondent in the petition.
Subsequently, every day the petitioners and other Muslim girl students who wear a hijab are being denied entry into the college. Moreover, at the instance of the MLA, the college has deputed local police at the college gates to prevent them from entering the premises, it was alleged.
The grounds argued by the petitioners include:
– Muslim girls have been wearing headscarves in the college without any hindrance since its inception;
– There is a specific rule in the college rule book which permits students to wear a headscarf;
– There is no rule under the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act which prescribes a uniform for college students or puts any restriction on clothes, apart from not permitting indecent attire;
– Pushing and throwing out girl students without any reason denies them their fundamental right to education, and is inhuman and immoral;
– The headscarf is an essential practice of the local and religious culture, and is hence protected under Article 25 (freedom of religion) of the Constitution of India;
– The college is acting under the instructions of the MLA Halady Srinivas Shetty, who is interfering in the management of the college for his own political interests.
The petition has asked the Court to allow Muslim girl students to attend college without such conditions and restrictions. It also sought interim relief from the Court, as the petitioners and other students have not been able to attend regular physical classes since February 4, which is negatively impacting their education.