Breaking: Hijab Not An Essential Religious Practice, Karnataka HC Dismisses Writ Petitions
The full bench of the Karnataka High Court comprising of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S. Dixit and Justice J. M. Khazi has held that hijab is not an essential religious practice in the Islamic faith. The Court also held that the prescription of school uniform is a reasonable restriction, constitutionally permissible.
The Court also held that the government has power to issue the impugned government order. The Court has accordingly dismissed the writ petitions.
The Bench had reserved its judgment on 25 February, after hearing a batch of cases filed challenging the restriction imposed on wearing of hijab government schools in the state. The Bench had heard the matter for 11 days.
The first case challenging the restriction was listed before Justice Krishna Dixit, who referred the case to be listed before a larger bench. The three-judge bench had passed an interim order restraining students from wearing any religious attire inside government schools in the state.
The interim order was challenged before the Supreme Court by students. However, the Court refused to interfere stating that it is watching the issue and that it will interfere at the appropriate stage.
The full bench was called upon to decide whether the practice of wearing hijab is a fundamental right protected under Article 25 of the Constitution of India and whether the practice can be treated as protected as a part of the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
The Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi had argued that the practice of wearing hijab must pass the test of constitutional morality and individual dignity.
During the hearing, there was a social media campaign against Justice Krishna S. Dixit, orchestrated by groups called 'Mangalore Muslims'.