Hijab ban: Supreme Court reserves order on petitions challenging Karnataka HC verdict

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on various petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court order upholding the ban on hijab in educational institutes.

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

The Karnataka High Court had upheld a Karnataka government order on March 15, authorising government colleges in the state to ban the wearing of hijab by Muslim girl students in college campuses.

On Monday, Muslim appellants who have challenged the hijab ban told the apex court that the “directive” against wearing the apparel in schools is “part of…pattern…to marginalise minority communities”.

“This is not about uniform…by series of acts of commission and acts of omission that have happened, unfortunately…I’m not blaming any individual or anything, but these acts of commission and omission show that there is a pattern to marginalise the minority communities. Part of this pattern is this directive,” senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing some of the appellants, told a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia.

Dave referred to controversies such as “love jihad” and said, “this has to be considered in the light of the kind of atmosphere that we are seeing today, which is going far from being liberal that we have been for 5,000 years”.

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