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Hijab Row - Order Banning Religious Dress Applies To Degree Colleges & PU Colleges Where Uniform Is Prescribed; Applies Only To Students : Karnataka High Court Clarifies

Mustafa Plumber
23 Feb 2022 11:58 AM GMT
Hijab Row - Order Banning Religious Dress Applies To Degree Colleges & PU Colleges Where Uniform Is Prescribed; Applies Only To Students : Karnataka High Court Clarifies
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The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday clarified that that the interim order passed by it on February 10, which prohibited wearing of religious dresses by students in classrooms, will apply to both degree colleges and Pre-University (PU) Colleges, where uniform has been prescribed.The Court also clarified that its order applies only to students and not teachers.A Full Bench comprising...

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday clarified that that the interim order passed by it on February 10, which prohibited wearing of religious dresses by students in classrooms, will apply to both degree colleges and Pre-University (PU) Colleges, where uniform has been prescribed.

The Court also clarified that its order applies only to students and not teachers.

A Full Bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishan S Dixit and Justice JM Khazi made this clarification at the end of today's hearing in the hijab ban case.

When today's hearing got over,  Advocate Mohammad Tahir mentioned the applications moved by students of Bhandarkar College of Arts and Science, Udupi, a private college, seeking a clarification regarding the extent of the interim order. He argued that citing the interim order, even colleges with no prescribed uniform and which had allowed the wearing of headscarves earlier, are stopping hijab-wearing Muslim students.

"Our order is clear, it only applies to institutions with uniform", Chief Justice Awasthi responded to Tahir's submission.

"If uniform is prescribed it has to be followed, whether it is degree college or PU College... We are making it very clear,  wherever, whether it is degree college, government college or under-graduate, where uniform is prescribed ,it has to be followed, so long as the matter is pending before the Court", the Chief Justice added.

Tahir submitted that even teachers are being asked to remove hijab.

"The order confines to students only", the CJ said.

The Full Bench in its interim order dated February 10 directed that "Pending consideration of all these petitions, we restrain all the students regardless of their religion or faith from wearing saffron shawls (Bhagwa), and connected matters scarfs, hijab, religious flags or the like within the classroom."

The Full Bench had further clarified that its order was confined to institutions with a prescribed dress code. "We make it clear that this order is confined to such of the institutions wherein the College Development Committees have prescribed the student dress code/uniform", the order had said.

It may be recalled that on Monday (February 21), a single bench of Justice Krishna Dixit had refused interim relief to the students of Bhandarkar College to allow the wearing of hijab, by saying that the Full Bench's order was applicable and that the matter was being heard by the Full Bench.

Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi, responding to Tahir's submissions, said that the college had told the single bench that they had passed a resolution to introduce uniform.

In response, Tahir submitted that the resolution was passed after the petition was filed. "This arrangement cannot be done immediately. One fine morning the institution comes and says they have prescribed uniform and so interim order is applicable! Even the rule book allowed girls to wear headscarves".

Tahir argued that the "College Development Committee" mentioned in the interim order was in reference to PU Colleges and Degree Colleges. The Bench did not agree.

 

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