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Hijab Not An Essential Part of Islam : Karnataka HC

Karnataka Hijab Controversy

The Karnataka High Court has given an important decision on the Karnataka Hijab row on Tuesday. The High Court has dismissed the petitions challenging the decision of hijab ban in school colleges. A bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khaji has said in its judgment that wearing hijab is not a part of the compulsory practice of Islam. The Karnataka High Court said that the prescription of school uniform is only a reasonable restriction, to which the students cannot object. The court also held that the fixation of school dress is a reasonable restriction, which is constitutionally valid.

The court said that the state government has the power to issue government orders in this regard. The court has dismissed all the writ petitions related to the case. The bench had on February 25 reserved its verdict after hearing several cases challenging the ban on wearing hijab in government schools in the state. The bench heard the matter for 11 days. The first case challenging the ban was listed before Justice Krishna Dixit, who referred the matter for listing before a larger bench.

An interim order passed to stop the wearing of religious dress

Karnataka Hijab Controversy

A three-judge bench had passed an interim order prohibiting students from wearing any religious attire inside government schools in the state. This interim order  challenged by the students in the Supreme Court. However, the court refused to intervene saying it was looking into the issue and would intervene at an appropriate level.

Article 19 vs Article 25 

The full bench was called to decide whether the practice of wearing the hijab is a fundamental right protected under Article 25 of the Constitution of India and whether the practice can be treated as protected under the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression . Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution argued by Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi that the practice of wearing the hijab must meet the test of constitutional morality and personal dignity.

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