The Karnataka government on Tuesday told the High Court that there is no restriction on wearing Hijab in India with reasonable restrictions subject to institutional discipline and dismissed the charge that denial to wear the headscarf was a violation of Article 15 of the Constitution, which prohibits discrimination of every sort.
Countering the petitioner Muslim girls from Udupi district, who challenged the restriction on Hijab inside the educational institutions, Karnataka Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi said the right to wear the headscarf falls under the category of 19(1)(A) and not Article 25 as has been argued by the petitioners.
The full bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice J M Khazi and Justice Krishna M Dixit is hearing a batch of petitions seeking permission to wear Hijab inside the classroom.
Here are the highlights on the Hijab Row:
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Hijab Row: High Court Says Students Should Follow Uniform Prescribed By Schools And Colleges Till Disposal Of Case
The Karnataka High Court hearing the hijab case on Wednesday said the uniform prescribed by the schools and colleges should be followed till the disposal of the case.
"We are making it very clear that whether a degree college or a PU College, if a uniform has been prescribed, that has to be followed so long as the matter is pending before the court," Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi told advocate Mohammed Tahir who is the counsel for one of the petitioners seeking permission to wear hijab in the classrooms.
The court also made it clear that the interim order related to hijab was confined to students only, when a lawyer appearing on behalf of petitioners from Udupi pointed out that the teachers were also asked to remove their headscarf.
Tahir urged the bench for clarity on its interim order saying that every institution was "pushing students outside" the college citing the court order.
The full bench comprising Chief Justice Awasthi, Justice JM Khazi and Justice Krishna S Dixit is hearing the hijab case on a day-to-day basis and made it clear to wind it up by this weekend.
Constitutional Value For Institutions Is To Impart Secular Education: College Committee Tells Karnataka High Court On Hijab Issue
Amid the hijab row, senior advocate Sajan Poovayya, representing College Development Committee (CDC), told Karnataka High Court on Wednesday that maintaining secular order is the paramount duty of the institution and the state as the basic constitutional value for institutions is to impart secular education.
Advocate Sajan Poovayya, who was appearing for CDC submitted that the basic constitutional value for it as a school is to impart secular values and dignity of girl child should be protected.
"The basic constitutional value for me as a school is to impart secular education and to ensure the dignity of girl child is protected," said Advocate Sajan Poovayya stressing that the college committee will not prescribe a protective attire to a girl child and not a boy child on a religious basis.
A bench of three judges, comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khazi, was hearing various petitions challenging the ban on hijab in educational institutes in the state on Wednesday.
Advocate Poovayya said that in a democratic society, community standard is maintained by rule of law and not by religious texts.
Hijab Ban Applicable Only To Students: Karnataka High Court
- Petitioner's advocate submitted that teachers were banned from wearing hijab. Submission made after teachers made to remove hijabs outside gates of educational institutions
- Days after teachers and students were denied entry to schools and colleges for wearing the hijab, the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday clarified that the interim order banning hijabs is applicable only to students.
- The High Court gave this clarification after Mohammad Tahir, advocate representing one of the petitioner students, that teachers too were being stopped at the gates.
- The full bench on February 10 said in its interim order that it was restraining students regardless of religion from wearing saffron shawls or hijab
Demand For National Investigation Agency Probe Into Bajrang Dal Activist Murder: Karnataka Chief Minister
Amidst demand from a section within the ruling BJP to hand over the probe into killing of a 28-year-old Bajrang Dal activist in Shivamogga to National Investigation Agency (NIA), Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said a decision in this connection will be taken based on the outcome of police investigation.
He said along with the probe, maintaining peace and order in Shivamogga that witnessed violence including stone-pelting and arson following the murder, is his government's priority.
"Several people have been arrested, investigation is on. Depending on what comes out of the investigation it will be decided as to which agency has to investigate further. We should give an opportunity for police to investigate first," Mr Bommai said in response to a question on demand for a NIA inquiry.
Speaking to reporters, he said the government's first priority is to maintain peace and law and order in Shivamogga.
"Along with maintaining peace and order, investigation is also on, those arrested are being interrogated, based on what comes out, we will take further action," he added.
Harsha, a resident of Seegehatti in Shivamogga, was stabbed with lethal weapons by a group of people on Sunday night, following which he was taken to McGann Hospital where he succumbed to injuries.
Earlier today, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said that eight people have been arrested so far in connection with the case, while interrogation of others is on.
Hijab row: Karnataka High Court seeks details on Campus Front of India's role from Karnataka government
The Karnataka High Court, hearing the hijab case, on Wednesday sought to know from the state government the role of the Campus Front of India (CFI).
On January one, six girl students of a college in Udupi attended a press conference held by the CFI in the coastal town protesting against the college authorities denying them entry into classrooms wearing hijab.
This was four days after they requested the principal permission to wear hijab in classes which was not allowed. Till then, students used to wear the headscarf to the campus, but entered the classroom after removing it, college principal Rudre Gowda had said.
"The institution did not have any rule on hijab-wearing as such since no one used to wear it to the classroom in the last 35 years. The students who came with the demand had the backing of outside forces," Mr Gowda had said.
Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya in Court: The preamble of the Karnataka Education Act says that its objective is to form a secular outlook.
- The basic constitutional value as a school is to impart secular education and to protect dignity of a girl child. Why is it that we teach our girl child to dress modestly and not boys?
- It is a duty as a school to ensure that a minor girl is not shackled to a practice. The decision whether to wear a Hijab is on them when they attain majority. I have a duty to ensure that I achieve secularism.
- Equality in education, it does not matter whether you are a Hindu or kodava, Christian or Muslim-Shia or Sunni. The dress is uniform. When I prescribe a uniform as an institution, religion is immaterial to me
Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya in Court: Education in this country especially with the aid of government is purely a secular activity.
A right to wear a religious attire is amenable to Article 25 and not Article 19. It is not an Article 19 right. Out of these 100 only 5 children insist that they want to wear hijab. Udupi district alone has 12 government colleges, a child can choose to go to a school which does not stop wearing hijab. It is also duty of the school, most children are minors, when they are minor it is my duty to provide the best benchmark. Education in this country especially with the aid of government is purely a secular activity. No religion instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds
How can we deliver judgement without hearing the arguments: Chief Justice
While hearing the Hijab petition, the Chief Justice says, "In the media, it has been reported that we will deliver the judgement this week. You have not completed the arguments, how can we deliver it?"