Arguments on hijab ban conclude, Supreme Court reserves verdict : The Tribune India

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Arguments on hijab ban conclude, Supreme Court reserves verdict

Arguments on hijab ban conclude, Supreme Court reserves verdict

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22

After marathon 10-day arguments, the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on petitions challenging the March 15 verdict of the Karnataka High Court refusing to allow hijab in educational institutions in the state.

As the arguments from both sides concluded, a Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia said, “Now our homework starts.”

On the final day of hearing on the contentious issue, the petitioners tried to impress upon the top court that the ban on the Islamic headscarf in classrooms must be lifted for the sake of girls’ education. They also took exception to the Karnataka Government’s allegations that the pro-hijab agitation was instigated by the Popular Front of India (PFI).

Referring to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s submission that the PFI started a social media campaign on the issue, senior counsel Dushyant Dave said, “I regret to say that the solicitor raised that issue.” The February 5 circular on dress code issued by the state had no reference to the PFI, he submitted.

The petitioners even used the government’s flagship “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign to drive home their point of girls’ education and women empowerment, saying the state should be concerned more about education than dress code.

The state has told the top court that it had not touched any “religious aspect” in the case and that the restriction on wearing the Islamic headscarf was limited to the classroom even as it said wearing headscarf was not an essential religious practice in Islam.

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