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'Not job of courts to say follow one and don't follow other': Advocate Mucchala on hijab ban

Not job of courts to say follow one and dont follow other: Advocate Mucchala on hijab ban

New Delhi: The petitioners in the hijab ban case informed the Supreme Court on Monday that the Karnataka High Court erred in concluding that wearing a headscarf is not a fundamental Islamic practice. They argued that because the court lacked subject matter expertise, it should not have addressed the question of whether the hijab was a fundamental religious practice by interpreting the Quran.

Senior attorney Yusuf Mucchala argued before a court of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia that human dignity is a characteristic that is protected by the constitution, that scriptures require people to practise modesty, and that wearing a headscarf may be a sign of one's identity in this regard.

He said interpreters and scholars may disagree, but if a woman thinks wearing a hijab is right, then she should follow it. "It is not the job of the courts to say follow one and don't follow the other," he said.

He added further that the Karnataka High Court used one interpretation of the Quran against another to give a finding on the essentiality of the hijab, which is objectionable, IANS reported.

The bench replied that it had no option, as the petitioners claimed it to be an essential religious practice. "What option does the high court have but to point it out? Now you say the high court cannot do this."

Muchhala said it is only judicial wisdom to not touch a field in which the court has no expertise and the court should have stayed away from it. "When HC encountered the question, it should have said hands off, we cannot look into that," he said.

Whether the hijab is a fundamental right or not, he claimed, is important in this case because the issue is not one of religious affiliation but rather of a person's fundamental rights.

The apex court was hearing submissions on the fourth day against the Karnataka High Court's judgement of March 15 upholding the ban on hijab in pre-university colleges.

The high court found no infirmity in the state government's order that virtually banned the wearing of hijab by Muslim girls studying in pre-university colleges.

The top court scheduled the matter for further hearing on September 14.

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TAGS:supreme courtKarnataka HCKarnataka Hijab rowhijab ban
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