‘A lab experiment’: Kapil Sibal ahead of Supreme Court verdict on hijab ban
Karnataka high court had dismissed the pleas filed by a section of Muslim students of the Government Pre-University Girls College in Udupi seeking permission to wear the hijab inside classrooms.
Ahead of the Supreme Court's verdict on the controversial hijab ban in Karnataka's educational institutions, senior advocate and Rajya Sabha member Kapil Sibal on Thursday said that the ban is a “lab experiment” which , if succeeds, will be repeated in all BJP-ruled states for political mileage. Sibal suggested that the government should rather experiment with reducing inflation, increasing factory output, poverty alleviation, and delivering justice to poor.
The two judge-bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia is scheduled to pronounce their verdict on a clutch of petitions challenging the Karnataka high court judgement that upheld the ban on hijab in educational institutions of the state. The bench reserved its verdict on September 22 following a marathon hearing of 10 days. If the two judges differ with each other in their final opinions, the case will be sent to a larger bench.
Sibal was one of the senior advocates who argued for the batch of girl students, women’s rights groups, lawyers, activists and Islamic bodies. Senior advocates Rajeev Dhavan, Dushyant Dave, Salman Khurshid, Huzefa Ahmedi, Colin Gonsalves, Meenakshi Arora, Sanjay Hegde, AM Dar, Devadatt Kamat and Jayna Kothari also argued against the ban on scarf worn by Muslim girl students.
The Karnataka high court had dismissed the pleas filed by a section of Muslim students seeking permission to wear the hijab inside classrooms, ruling that wearing a scarf is not a part of the essential religious practice in Islam.
During the proceedings in the Supreme Court, the petitioners implored the bench to test the Karnataka government order on the anvil of violation of a spectrum of fundamental rights, especially those relating to religion, culture, privacy and education. Most of them also urged the top court to steer clear of the controversy as to whether wearing of hijab formed an essential religious practice or not.