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Karnataka HC upholds ban, Court says “Hijab not essential religious practice”

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date
Karnataka HC upholds ban, Court says “Hijab not essential religious practice”

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court Tuesday held that wearing of hijab by Muslim women does not form a part of essential religious practice in Islamic faith and dismissed various petitions filed by Muslim girl students challenging the ban on wearing Hijab in state’s educational institutions.

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In its ruling, the three-judge High Court bench said, “wearing Hijab not an essential religious practice of Islam.” “We are of the considered opinion that wearing of Hijab by Muslim women does not form a part of essential religious practice in Islamic faith,” the Karnataka high court bench said further.

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A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi upheld the Udupi Pre-University Government college order prescribing school uniform that banned hijab, as well as the Karnataka government’s 5 February order that extended its support to the restriction.

The Karnataka High Court had temporarily banned religious clothes, including Hijab and saffron scarves, last month as the controversy snowballed into protests and a face-off between different sections of students.

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The petitioners, including a dozen Muslim students, told the court that wearing the hijab was a fundamental right guaranteed under India’s constitution and essential practice of Islam. After eleven days of the hearing, the High Court had reserved its judgment on February 25.

Teachers along with students have been stopped from entering schools and colleges for wearing the hijab in many parts of the state since then.

Videos of students and teachers removing the Hijab in public to be allowed inside educational institutions had triggered a massive outcry. The High Court had then clarified that the temporary ban applied only to students and not teachers.

The controversy over the hijab erupted in Karnataka late last year as students at a school in Udupi alleged that they were stopped from entering class wearing headscarves.

On February 5, Karnataka banned “clothes that were against law and order” and on February 10 the High Court temporarily banned all religious outfits as it heard petitions challenging the restrictions.

Also Read :- Hijab row: Plea moved in SC after Karnataka HC upholds ban
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