Comparison with Sikhs unfair, five Ks recognised for over 100 years: Supreme Court on hijab row : The Tribune India

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Comparison with Sikhs unfair, five Ks recognised for over 100 years: Supreme Court on hijab row

Comparison with Sikhs unfair, five Ks recognised for over 100 years: Supreme Court on hijab row


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8

The Supreme Court today took exception to a petitioner’s counsel in the Karnataka hijab ban case comparing religious practices in Sikhism with those followed in Islam, saying it’s not fair.

“It is not fair to compare the rights or the practices in Sikhism…Don’t compare these practices because they have been recognised for over 100 years… The five Ks in Sikhism — kesh, kara, kangha, kachha and kirpan — are well established,” a Bench led by Justice Hemant Gupta told advocate Nizam Pasha, representing one of the petitioners.

The comments of the top court came after Pasha, representing one of the petitioners, sought to draw a parallel between religious and cultural practices followed in Islam with those in Sikhism to make good his case. It referred to Article 25 (right to religion) of the Constitution, which allows Sikhs to carry kirpan.

As Pasha said Article 25 mentioned only kirpan and not the other Ks of Sikhism, the Bench, which also included Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, shot back, “What we are saying is… please do not draw any parallel with Sikhism. That’s all. That’s what we are saying.” The court posted the matter for hearing on Monday. On the third day of hearing on petitions challenging the March 15 verdict of the Karnataka HC upholding the ban on hijab in schools in the state, Pasha attacked the verdict of the HC. He said the Quran, as it stands, is perfect for all times to come and to say that verses of the Quran have become obsolete, is “bordering on blasphemy”.

Earlier, senior advocate Devadatt Kamat sought to defend the hijab, saying that it was protected under Articles 19 (right to freedom of speech and expression, 21 (right to life) and 25 (right to religion) of the Constitution. He described wearing of an orange shawl as “a belligerent display of religious jingoism”, saying “Article 25 only protects an innocent display of faith.”

There is a requirement for turban

A five-judge SC Bench held that wearing turban and kirpan is essential for Sikhs. That’s why we are saying comparison with Sikhs may not be proper. Five Ks of Sikhs have been held to be mandatory. — Supreme Court Bench

Street vs school

The SC sought to draw a distinction between wearing hijab on the street and in school. “Hijab on the street doesn’t affect anybody.... but in a school, the question is what kind of a public order the school wants to be maintained there,” it said.

EWS quota: SC to adjudicate on 3 issues

  • While examining the constitutional validity of the law providing for 10% quota to economically weaker sections (EWS) in education and jobs, the SC will adjudicate on three issues suggested by A-G KK Venugopal
  • The first issue is whether the 103rd Constitution amendment Act can be said to breach the basic structure of the Constitution by permitting the state to make special provisions, including reservation, based on economic criteria
  • Other two are whether constitutional amendment can be said to breach basic structure by permitting state to make provisions concerning admissions to private unaided institutions, and whether it can breach the basic structure in excluding SEBCs/OBCs, SCs/STs from EWS quota

‘Prepare job policy for transgender persons’

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to prepare a policy in three months for jobs to transgender persons. The order came on a plea of an engineering graduate transgender from Tamil Nadu. She had challenged Air India’s decision to deny her a job as a cabin crew member.

Petitions against CAA to be heard on Sept 12

  • The Supreme Court will take up on Sept 12 over 200 petitions challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, that led to violent protests in various parts of India
  • The petitions against the CAA, which first came up for hearing in the Supreme Court on December 18, 2019, were last heard on June 15, 2021
  • On Monday, these pleas will come up before a Bench led by CJI UU Lalit before the actual hearing of the matter possibly by a Constitution Bench
  • Passed by Parliament on December 11, 2019, the CAA relaxes norms for grant of citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist and Jain and Parsi victims of religious persecution

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