Hijab ban case: Supreme Court concludes hearing, reserves verdict | The Financial Express

Hijab ban case: Supreme Court concludes hearing, reserves verdict

A bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia in the Fathima Bushra vs State of Karnataka case, finished hearing all parties over the course of 10 days.

Hijab ban case: Supreme Court concludes hearing, reserves verdict
The Karnataka High Court had on March 15 dismissed petitions filed by Muslims students seeking permission to wear hijab inside educational institutions. (Photo: PTI/File)

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court judgment refusing to lift the ban on hijab in educational institutions of the state, Bar and Bench reported.

A bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia in the Fathima Bushra vs State of Karnataka case, finished hearing all parties, including 21 counsel for appellants and five respondents, over the course of 10 days.

“We have heard you all. Now, our homework starts. Thank you very much,” the bench remarked.

Also Read: Karnataka Hijab ban: We are not interpreters of Quran, says SC

The Karnataka High Court had on March 15 dismissed petitions filed by Muslims students from the Government Pre-University Girls College in Udupi seeking permission to wear hijab inside educational institutions. The court had contended that wearing hijab was not part of “essential religious practice” in Islam.

Senior Advocate Dushayant Dave, representing Muslim appellants in the Supreme Court, told, “For those who are believers it (hijab) is essential. For those who are not believers it’s not essential.”

A three-judge bench of the HC had held that hijab was not an essential religious practice of Islam; requirement of uniform is a reasonable restriction on the fundamental right to freedom of expression; the government has the power to pass government order (GO).

Meanwhile, challenging the HC’s verdict, several pleas were filed in the top court.

The hijab ban case

In December and January, some Muslim students of the Government Women’s Pre-University College in Udupi city in Karnataka were barred from attending classes when they appeared in hijab. The students had staged protests, and similar demonstrations took place in various other parts of the state.

Meanwhile, several Hindu students also protested against the girls wearing hijab to educational institutes.

Also Read: Hijab ban: Can right to practice religion be taken to school having prescribed uniform, asks SC

The Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government had on February 5 banned “wearing clothes that disturb equality, integrity, and public order” in schools and colleges.

The students had moved the High Court challenging the ban.

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