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SC verdict on Karnataka hijab ban case likely this week

SC verdict on Karnataka hijab ban case likely this week

New Delhi: A bench of Justices Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia is likely to issue this week the verdict on the petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court judgement that upheld the ban of hijab in certain educational institutions in Karnataka,

The judge Justice Hemant Gupta is also scheduled to retire on October 16. The bench headed by him and also comprising Sudhanshu Dhulia had reserved its judgement on the pleas on September 22 after hearing arguments in the matter for 10 days.

During the arguments in the apex court, a number of counsels appearing for several petitioners had insisted that preventing the Muslim girls from wearing the hijab to the classroom will put their education in jeopardy as they might stop attending classes.

Counsel for the petitioners had argued on various aspects, including on the state government's February 5, 2022 order which banned wearing clothes that disturb equality, integrity, and public order in schools and colleges.

At some points in the course of the arguments, the question had also come up whether wearing a hijab was an essential practice in Islam. However, the court later expressed its disinclination to determine such issues based on tenets of religion.

Some advocates had also argued that the matter be referred to a five-judge constitution bench.

On the other hand, the counsel appearing for the state had argued that the Karnataka government order that kicked up a row over hijab was "religion neutral".

Insisting that the agitation in support of wearing hijab in educational institutions was not a "spontaneous act" by a few individuals, the state's counsel had argued in the apex court that the government would have been "guilty of dereliction of constitutional duty" if it had not acted the way it did.

On March 15, the high court had dismissed the petitions filed by a section of Muslim students of the Government Pre-University Girls College in Karnataka's Udupi seeking permission to wear the hijab inside classrooms, ruling it is not a part of the essential religious practice in Islamic faith.

The state government's order of February 5, 2022 was challenged by some Muslim girls in the high court.

Following the high court order, several pleas were filed in the apex court challenging the high court verdict.

(Based on PTI feed with minor edits)

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TAGS:Hijab banKarnataka High Court orderpetitions in Supreme CourtJustice Hemant Gupta Justice Sudhanshu Dhuliaessential part of Islam
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