Karnataka Hijab Case: HC Judge Refers Hijab Pleas to Chief Justice, Full Hearing Today | India News
Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi constituted the bench consisting of himself, Justice Jaibunissa M Khazi and Justice Krishna S Dixit after the latter issued an order citing his reasons for not proceeding with the hearing on his own .
“This matter was heatedly argued yesterday by both parties for some time, from which this judge benefited… The court is of the considered opinion that the papers should be placed in the hands of the Honorable Chief Justice to consider whether a larger bench can be formed,” Judge Dixit said.
To illustrate the complexity of the issues and human rights aspects raised, the judge pointed out that decisions of three high courts had been cited as well as more than half a dozen judgments of the supreme court.
The position of the state government was that allowing any student to wear clothing other than the prescribed uniform would amount to preferential treatment and a violation of the mandatory dress code. It would also be a violation of the right of other students to equality, as guaranteed by section 14 of the Constitution, argued the government in its statement of objections to two petitions filed by students of a Udupi college. The petitioners have been protesting since December against the ban on attending hijab classes.
The petitions were filed before the government issued an order on February 5, in which students were required to follow the dress code.
Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadgi pointed out in court on Wednesday that the Supreme Court discussed the relevance of uniform and its importance as a distinct feature in Mohammed Zubair Corporal Vs Union of India and others.
“The identifiable characteristic due to wearing a dress or dress code other than uniform is not conducive to the development of the institution, nor is the child or the student on the university campus. Person was treated differently inside the classroom or campus. Discipline and decorum must be maintained in the educational institution,” the government added.
Citing Allahabad High Court decision in Ajmal Khan v India Election Commission, the state government further maintained that wearing hijab is not an essential religious practice.
Lead barrister Sanjay Hegde, representing the Udupi student petitioners, said the girls had just two months left of their university year. “The problems come from Udupi, my hometown. Is there any power to prescribe a uniform? What is important is that these students go back to colleges. No paradise will fall in two months. None girl cannot be deprived of education,” he said. .
“Whether the students go to school or not matters to us; whether the principal of a school allows us to sit in a class with the hijab. There is nothing in the Karnataka Education Act regarding the ‘uniform. What it contains is about the curriculum. Even assuming the state government has the power, can the same be done to exclude some children altogether. I would say ‘no.’
On the general counsel’s suggestion that students address the college’s development committee, senior counsel Devadatt Kamat said it would be tantamount to putting students “at the mercy of a committee to secure their constitutional rights. “.
“In the above circumstances, the Registry is required to immediately place the documents before the Chief Justice relating to the urgency invoked in the case. It is open to petitioners to apply for an interim measure after a decision has been made by the Chief Justice,” Judge Dixit said. said in its order, clearing the way for the first plenary hearing at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
Bengaluru City Police, meanwhile, have imposed restraining orders within 200 meters of all educational institutions in the city, citing violence sparked by the hijab row in other parts of State. Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said the restraining orders would be in effect until midnight on February 22.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai gave an update on the situation sparked by the hijab row at a cabinet meeting and decided not to do anything else until the high court delivers its verdict.