Mansoor Ahmad, a law student from Aligarh Muslim University, has been barred from entering the courtrooms of the country’s top court because he wears a cap.
The 24-year-old came to the Supreme Court with 82 other BA LL.B. final-year students for an internship programme that started on March 10.
“After two-three days, I was told by a security guard in front of the CJI’s court to remove my cap before entering. When I asked why, he said it was against court decorum,” Ahmad said.
“I offered to get my cap checked but they were not ready to let me in with my cap on,” Ahmad, who is from Kashmir, told HT.
Thereafter, he started attending proceedings in courtrooms at the back of the premises. “But after a few days, the security men there too stopped me from entering with my cap,” he said.
Ahmad does not want to remove his cap as he says lawyers are allowed to wear caps as part of their sherwani-pajama dress code. Also, he wears it for religious reasons.
He took up the matter with an additional registrar and a registrar, but both asked him not to make an issue of it. “Bete (son), you are here for training, concentrate on that. What if you put off your cap?" Ahmad quoted the registrar, Ashok Kumar, as having advised him. When he asked for a written reply, Kumar reportedly told him it would take time.
After failing to make any headway with the court authorities, Ahmad filed a right to information application and is waiting for a response. Supreme Court secretary general M.P. Bhadran said: “It’s a question of decorum in court. It has nothing to do with religion.”