Practice of wearing hijab must pass test of constitutional morality, AG to HC

The State took the stand that wearing of hijab is not an essential religious practice of Islam.

hijab

The Karnataka government on Friday told the Karnataka High Court that that the practice of wearing hijab must pass the test of constitutional morality laid down by the Supreme Court in the judgments in Sabarimala and Triple Talaq cases.

The hearing in the petitions challenging the hijab ban continued on Friday, day 6, in the High Court.

Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi made arguments to that effect on behalf of the State, before the Bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices Krishna S Dixit and JM Khazi in a batch of petitions filed by Muslim girl students in the State claiming that they were not being allowed to enter colleges on account of the government order (GO) which effectively bans the wearing of hijab (headscarves).

He said that the state government has taken the stand that the hijab does not come under the essential religious practices in Islam. He added that the state government has ordered that the students should wear uniforms prescribed by colleges and that the government does not want to intervene in religious matters. The hearing in the case will continue on Monday.

Referring to the Supreme Court’s decisions in the Sabarimala and Triple Talaq cases, AG Navadgi said,

“Practice of wearing hijab must pass the test of constitutional morality and individual dignity.”

During his submissions, he also said that the government was “pained” at how it was being berated in the backdrop of the hijab ban controversy.

“We are pained at the way the government has been berated in these proceedings and how it is alleged we are dictated by some other reasons and that we are discriminating against girls and women. With absolute humility we say, State believes in treating everyone equally.”

The hijab and saffron shawl row has also spilled over to political leaders.

Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar on Friday said that state Minister KS Eshwarappa must resign over his remarks that the saffron flag might become the national flag in the future. He further warned the BJP government that if the minister is not sacked, Congress would move court besides continuing to disrupt the ongoing assembly session.

The Congress had on Thursday staged an overnight protest in the Karnataka Assembly demanding minister Eshwarappa’s resignation. While Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah said that the party will continue its protest till the minister is sacked, Shivakumar said that no action has been taken against the minister for “disrespecting” the national flag.

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