Karnataka judge refers hijab row to CJ, cites constitutional issues : The Tribune India

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Karnataka judge refers hijab row to CJ, cites constitutional issues

Some Muslim girls have moved High Court challenging hijab ban in classrooms

Karnataka judge refers hijab row to CJ, cites constitutional issues

Representational photo. Source: Thinkstock

Tribune News Service

New Delhi/Bengaluru Feb 9

Citing constitutional questions, a single Judge of the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday referred to a larger Bench the case relating to a ban on hijab on school and college campuses in the state.

“In view of the enormity of questions of importance which were debated, the court is of the considered opinion that the Chief Justice should decide if a larger Bench can be constituted on the subject matter,” Justice Krishna S Dixit said.

Some Muslim girls studying in government colleges in Udupi district of Karnataka have moved the High Court challenging the ban on their entry into classrooms with their hijabs on. They contended that it was part of their religious practice and the colleges could not have banned it.

Stop harassment

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Whether it’s a bikini, ‘ghoonghat’, pair of jeans or ‘hijab’, it’s a woman’s right to decide what she wants to wear. This right is guaranteed by the Constitution. Stop harassing her. — Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

The court turned down the request for interim orders despite repeated requests by senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, representing a petitioner. “They have only two months (of the academic year) left. Do not exclude them...we need to find a way that no girl child is deprived of education,” Hegde said.

Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi said each institution had been given autonomy to take decisions regarding uniform and the state did not take the decision. On behalf of the college development committee, senior counsel Sajan Poovayya urged the court to decide the matter after hearing the parties.

“The Bench is also of the view that the interim prayers should be placed before a larger Bench that may be constituted by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi exercising his discretion,” Justice Dixit noted in his order.

Justice Dixit maintained that the issue gave rise to certain constitutional questions of seminal importance in view of certain aspects of personal law.

The hijab row has spread to several other colleges in Karnataka and even took a violent turn on many campuses, with protests for and against the headscarf worn by certain Muslim women students.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan’s foreign ministry summoned the Indian Charge d’ Affaires in Islamabad and conveyed its concerns over the hijab row. (With PTI inputs)

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