Hijab restriction only inside classroom: K’taka govt tells SC

Hijab restriction only inside classroom: K’taka govt tells SC

New Delhi: Busting the pro-hijab narrative in the Supreme Court, the Karnataka government on Wednesday submitted that wearing of hijab is only restricted inside the classroom, but allowed on school premises and buses.
The submission was made by Karnataka Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi in the Supreme Court which is hearing a bunch of pleas against the Karnataka High Court’s order upholding the ban on hijab in education institutions.
“There is no restriction on wearing Hijab in school transport or even inside the school campus. The restriction is only inside the classroom,” Navadgi said.
Navadgi further argued that the question of violation of fundamental rights does not arise as students admitted in an educational institution are governed by the Education Act.
Another counsel for the Karnataka government, Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, submitted that the government has not banned hijab, but prescribed religion-neutral dress code.
He further submitted, “Today someone wants to wear a hijab. Tomorrow some others want to wear gamcha … Can a Hindu come and perform havan at India Gate or in court? This is unsustainable in secular institutions such as schools,” Nataraj said.
Yesterday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had brought in the conspiracy angle, naming the People’s Front of India for influencing pro-hijab petitioners. He also raised the anti-hijab protests going on in Iran, arguing that the headscarf is not an essential religious practice of Islam.
On March 15, the Karnataka HC, which was hearing a plea of students of Government College in Udupi seeking wearing of hijab inside classrooms, ruled that hijab is not an essential religious practice.
In its 129 pages judgement, the HC had stated that the dress code is only a reasonable restriction that students cannot object to.
UNI

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