Karnataka High Court upholds hijab ban

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday upheld the State government order effectively banning the wearing of hijab by Muslim girl students in educational institutions in Karnataka.

“Hijab is not a part of essential religious practices of Islam and thus, is not protected under Article 25 of the Constitution,” said a three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices Krishna S Dixit and JM Khazi.

Accordingly, the Court has dismissed the petitions filed by Muslim girl students, challenging the action of government PU colleges in denying their entry for wearing hijab.

Muslim students in Karnataka have been protesting the ban on hijab in educational institutions, saying the Islamophobic move of the Karnataka government violates their religious freedom guaranteed under India’s constitution.

Muslim students, activists, and Opposition leaders across the country allege that these attacks on Muslim symbols and practices are part of the larger Hindutva agenda of imposing majoritarian values on the country’s 200 million Muslims.

The High Court further held that prescription of school uniform by the State is a reasonable restriction the students’ rights under Article 25 and thus, the government order issued by the Karnataka government dated February 5 is not violative of their rights, Live Law reported.

The full bench of the High Court comprising CJ Awasthi, Justice J M Khazi and Justice Krishna S Dixit has been hearing the case on a day-to-day basis since February 10.

( More to follow)