Supreme Court refuses urgent hearing on plea against Karnataka HC order on hijab row, asks the pro-hijab lawyer not to sensationalize the issue

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said this has nothing to do with the exams

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said this has nothing to do with the exams
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said this has nothing to do with the exams

‘Exams have nothing to do with Hijab;’: SC on petition challenging Karnataka HC order

On Thursday the Supreme Court has refused to give any specific date to hear a plea challenging the Karnataka High Court order, which dismissed all petitions seeking direction for permission to wear hijab in classrooms. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said this has nothing to do with the exams. The Chief Justice told Devadutt Kamat not to sensationalize the matter.

Earlier, The Supreme Court had rejected a plea for an early hearing of the appeals against the Karnataka High Court verdict on the Hijab row, which said that wearing of hijab by the Muslim women does not form a part of the essential religious practice in the Islamic faith.

When the Karnataka HC announced its verdict on the Hijab row a few declined to even accept the verdict. Campus Front of India (CFI) President M S Sajid claimed that the High Court verdict stands against the Constitution and that they will continue the fight against it.

Notably, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi suggested the petitioners appeal to the Supreme Court.

Senior advocate Devadutt Kamat mentioned one of the cases on behalf of a petitioner, a Muslim girl student, and sought urgent listing of the matter. Kamat insisted that exams were approaching and urged the court for an urgent hearing on the matter.

Kamat contended that the girl students were not being allowed to enter the schools, and they will lose one year. However, the bench moved on to the next item.

Senior advocate Sanjay Hedge, representing the petitioners’ Hedge had insisted that the exams are starting and there was urgency in the matter. The bench said it needed time and it would post the matter for hearing. After brief submissions, the bench said the court may list it after Holi vacations. “Give us time, we’ll post the matter,” said the bench.

The plea filed through advocate Adeel Ahmed and Rahamathullah Kothwal said the high court order creates an unreasonable classification between the Muslim and the non-Muslim female students and thereby is in straight violation of the concept of secularism which forms the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. The petitioners are Mohamed Arif Jameel and others.

The plea said: “The impugned order is also in sheer violation of the Article 14, 15, 19, 21 and 25 of the Indian Constitution and also violates the core principles of the International Conventions that India is a signatory to.”

It further added, “Being aggrieved by the impugned Government Order, as it is in violation of Indian constitution, the petitioner had approached the Hon’ble High Court by way of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition challenging the validity of the same.

“The Hon’ble High Court vide the impugned order had sought to curtail the fundamental right of Muslim student-women by upholding the impugned Government Order which bars Muslim women from wearing the hijab and pursuing their education. It is hereby submitted that the right to wear hijab is an ‘essential religious practice’ and falls within the ambit of the right of expression guaranteed by Article 19 (1) (a), the right to privacy, and also the Freedom of Conscience under Article 25 of the Constitution. The same cannot be infringed upon without a valid ‘law’.”

Another plea, filed by two Muslim students, Manan and Niba Naaz, through advocate Anas Tanwir, said: “The petitioners most humbly submit that the High Court has erred in creating a dichotomy of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience wherein the court has inferred that those who follow a religion cannot have the right to conscience.”

[With Inputs from IANS]

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