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Hijab banned only in classrooms, no restrictions on campus, school transport, Karnataka AG tells SCSEXI News

Hijab is restricted only in classrooms and not in campus or school buses or transport, Karnataka Advocate General Prabhulinga Navadgi said on Wednesday before the Supreme Court, which was hearing an appeal challenging the order of the state High Court. ,

“The right to wear a dress as part of the expression cannot be given easily by mere demand. We have not banned the hijab outside, and there are no restrictions on wearing it on school transport. There are no restrictions on the school premises as well and the nature of the ban is only inside the classroom,” Navadgi said while addressing presentations before a bench headed by Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia.

Arguing on behalf of the government, the Advocate General hinted at the role of organizations such as the Popular Front of India (PFI), saying that “there were certain groups that were actively involved…”

“I do not want to import personal knowledge but as a citizen I was a witness. It was not a case of a single student but it was a group of students who were banging the school gate vigorously. It was a ripple effect. It was in Udupi and then in Kundapura. Our kids weren’t going to class… The ground reality was different. This has never happened in Karnataka. There were some groups that actively engaged themselves. Thus, the action of the state should also be seen from this angle,” Navadgi said.

During the hearing, the Supreme Court also asked the Advocate General to submit a charge sheet disclosing the role of PFI in the hijab movement in various districts of Karnataka.

The court also questioned the AG on the aspect of the petitioner’s arguments that whatever is mentioned in the Quran is the word of God and is mandatory.

This court has said in various judgments that “every word in the Qur’an may be religious but it is not necessary that it is necessary”, Navadgi replied that there is no absolute freedom and that every freedom can be restricted.

Defending the Karnataka High Court’s decision to ban religious dress inside educational institutions, the state government on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that hijab is not a necessary practice and women in constitutionally Islamic countries are opposing it. .

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Karnataka government, said, “There are countries which are constitutionally Islamic in nature, even women are opposing the hijab.”

The court then questioned which country he was talking about. Mehta replied, “Iran. So, it is not a necessary religious practice. Mere mention in the Qur’an will not make it mandatory, it may be a permissible or normative practice.”

On March 15 this year, the Karnataka High Court, while delivering its verdict, dismissed a batch of petitions related to the hijab controversy, which held that wearing a hijab is not mandatory in the Quranic mandate.

“The Holy Quran does not make it mandatory for Muslim women to wear hijab or headgear. Whatever is said in the suras, we say, is only a directory, the linguistic structure of the verses supports this view, due to the absence of punishment or penance prescriptions for not wearing the hijab. This garment is a means to gain access to as many public places as possible and not a religious goal in itself. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Rituraj Awasthi said, it was competence and the measurement of women was not a metaphorical constraint.

A bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khaji quoted Dr BR Ambedkar as saying that the hijab or any similar practice may hinder the process of emancipation of women in general and Muslim women in particular.

“What the chief architect of our Constitution observed about the purdah system more than half a century ago also applies to the wearing of the hijab, with great scope for the argument that the veil, the veil or the emphasis on the head in any community would hinder Might be possible. The process of emancipation of woman in general and Muslim woman in particular,” it said.

The court further said that this is against our constitutional spirit of ‘equal opportunity’ of ‘public participation and positive secularism’.

“The prescribing of a school dress code to the exclusion of the hijab, saffron, or any other garment of religion may be a step forward towards emancipation and, in particular, access to education. Needless to say that this does not take away the autonomy of women or their right to education as they can wear any outfit of their choice outside the classroom,” the order read.

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