Karnataka HC’s verdict on hijab ban challenged in SC

New Delhi: A petition was moved in the Supreme Court today challenging the Karnataka High Court order rejecting pleas challenging ban on hijab in the educational institutions across the State.

According to reports, the order has been challenged in the Supreme Court by Niba Naaz, a student who was not among the five who had originally petitioned against the hijab ban.

Earlier in the day, a full bench of the Karnataka High Court had dismissed a batch of petitions filed by Muslims girls from pre-university colleges in Udupi region of the state seeking the right to wear hijabs or headscarves along with uniforms inside classrooms.

The prescription of school uniform is only a reasonable restriction, constitutionally permissible which the students cannot object to, a three-judge bench of the court further noted.

‘We are dismayed as to how all of a sudden that too in the middle of the academic term the issue of hijab is generated and blown out of proportion by the powers that be,’ the HC said in its order. ‘The way, hijab imbroglio unfolded gives scope for the argument that some ‘unseen hands’ are at work to engineer social unrest and disharmony,’ it said.

The court ruled that prescription of school uniform does not violate either the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1) (a) or the right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution, and the restriction against wearing of hijab in educational institutions is only a reasonable restriction constitutionally permissible, which the students cannot object to.