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"Let Supreme Court Decide": Madras High Court On Plea For Restricting Dresses & Accessories Of Religious Significance In Schools

Upasana Sajeev
25 April 2022 6:50 AM GMT
Let Supreme Court Decide: Madras High Court On Plea For Restricting Dresses & Accessories Of Religious Significance In Schools
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The Madras High Court on Monday dismissed as withdrawn a petition filed for directing the Department of School Education to restrict the students from wearing dresses and accessories with religious significance to the schools and educational institutions.The bench of Justice M Duraiswamy and Justice T.V Thamilselvi were considering a petition filed by advocate K Gopinath, leader of Hindu...

The Madras High Court on Monday dismissed as withdrawn a petition filed for directing the Department of School Education to restrict the students from wearing dresses and accessories with religious significance to the schools and educational institutions.

The bench of Justice M Duraiswamy and Justice T.V Thamilselvi were considering a petition filed by advocate K Gopinath, leader of Hindu Munnetra Kazhagam.

The bench observed that since the issue is already pending before the Supreme Court, it is not in a position to consider it at this stage.

Background

In his petition, Gopinath contended that in Tamil Nadu, the government is following dress code since the 1960s. It was introduced with an objective of maintaining uniformity between the students who are studying in the same school and to avoid any difference between the students.

The state had also enacted various codes and rules for regulation of schools and educational institutions. One of them is the "Code of Regulation for Nursery and Primary Schools" in which Chapter IV Rule 14(ii) states specific dress code for boys and girls. As per this regulation, every school must maintain such dress code for all the students studying in the school. However, the reality is different.

He claimed that in most schools, students wear add-ons like accessories, over dresses like hijab and other religious symbols. Gopinath claimed that even though the constitution provides the right to religion under Article 25 of the Constitution, the same is subject to reasonable restrictions. In a secular state like India, though every person has a right to practice their own religion, such right to religion should not affect other citizens and it should not spoil the decorum of uniformity inside the campus.

Further, he opined that religious riots should not be allowed to boom in the country especially among school students. For this, no person should be permitted to do any act in the name of religion, culture and the like that disturbs public peace and tranquility.

Case Title: K. Gopinath v. The Director of School Education Department and others

Case No: W.P No. 10447 of 2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 178

Click here to read/download the judgment


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