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Hijab Row: Plea Moved in SC Challenging HC Interim Order Curbing Religious Dress

The appeal argues that the high court order has sought to curtail the fundamental right of Muslim students.

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Education
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The Karnataka High Court interim order to restrain students from wearing hijab or any religious attire in educational institutes till the matter is pending with the court, was challenged in the Supreme Court on Friday, 11 February.

An special leave petition has been filed in the top court against the interim order, Bar and Bench reported.

The petitioner has argued in the appeal that the high court order has sought to curtail the fundamental right of Muslim students by not permitting them to wear hijab while pursuing their education.
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Along with an ex parte ad interim stay of operation of the impugned high court order dated 10 February, the petitioner has also sought an ex parte ad interim stay of operation of the proceedings in the case pending before the high court passed by a coordinate bench, Livelaw reported.

Court's Order and Hijab Row

A bench comprising of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices Krishna Dixit and JM Khazi of the Karnataka High Court, had on Thursday passed an order prohibiting any student from wearing any religious clothing while they consider the legal issues involved.

"It is a matter of a few days only," the chief justice had said, rejecting the argument raised by senior advocate Devadatt Kamat that this would amount to a suspension of the right to practise one's religion under Article 25 of the Constitution.

The issue has been ongoing since 28 December 2021, when the Kundapur Pre-University College in Udupi had prohibited six girls wearing hijabs from attending classes. A number of institutes in Karnataka have denied entry to hijab-donning students into college premises since then, leading to protests.

Saffron-clad agitators had also countered these protests by Muslim girls, with tensions heightening on Tuesday, when incidents of stone pelting and the hoisting of a saffron flag were reported.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said that schools for up to Class 10 would reopen on Monday. The schools had been shut on Tuesday following the ruckus.

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(With inputs from LiveLaw and Bar and Bench.)

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