Hijab ban order led to 17,000 girls skipping exams in Karnataka, advocate tells SC

Updated on Sep 15, 2022 11:02 PM IST

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for another petitioner, said the ruling is probably targeting Muslims and women from the faith particularly, thereby violating articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution.

Several pleas have been filed in the Supreme court against the March 15 verdict of the high court holding that wearing of hijab is not a part of the essential religious practice which can be protected under Article 25 of the Constitution.
Several pleas have been filed in the Supreme court against the March 15 verdict of the high court holding that wearing of hijab is not a part of the essential religious practice which can be protected under Article 25 of the Constitution.
By | Edited by Sohini Goswami

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, who appeared in the Supreme Court on behalf of Muslim girls challenging the Karnataka high court's verdict on the ban on hijab (a headgear worn by some women from the faith), told the Supreme Court that the ruling resulted in thousands skipping the examinations.

Ahmad was responding to the Supreme Court's inquiry on whether there is an accurate statistic of students dropping out of Karnataka educational institutions due to the Hijab ban.

"Do you have those authentic figures that because of this Hijab ban and the subsequent judgement of the high court, 20, 30, 40 or 50 students have dropped out?," a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia asked.

Also Read | Karnataka govt has power to mandate school uniforms: SC in hijab case

“My friend (one of the lawyers) informed me that 17,000 students had really abstained from the exams after this particular judgement," Ahmadi told the bench that is hearing arguments on a batch of pleas challenging the Karnataka high court verdict that refused to lift the ban on hijab in educational institutions of the southern state.

Questioning the credibility of the report, the bench said, "We don’t want to say anything about reports. We didn’t accept. The issue of the dropout rate was never raised before the HC. You are arguing for the first time here."

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According to Ahmadi, Muslim girls who had previously been confined to madrasas had broken stereotypes by enrolling in secular educational institutions while wearing the hijab, but the government order requiring students to not wear the hijab on school premises took that away from them.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for another petitioner, said the ruling is probably targeting Muslims and women from the faith particularly, thereby violating articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution. Such indiscriminate targeting is against the law and the Constitution, he added.

He also said that across India and the entire world, whether it is an Islamic state or otherwise, Hijab is recognised as valid.

(With inputs from agencies)

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Kanishka is a journalist at Hindustan Times’ news desk. When not in newsroom, you will find her on streets of Delhi exploring food cafes or capturing world through her lens.

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