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Karnataka HC Refuses Interim Relief To Wear Hijab to Degree College Students

This comes even though the earlier interim order of the high court states that it does not apply to degree colleges.

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The Karnataka High Court on Monday, 21 February, refused to grant interim relief to students of a degree college who had asked for protection of right to wear hijab in classrooms, even as an earlier order by the court had exempted degree colleges from the restriction on religious attire.

A single-judge bench of Justice Krishan S Dixit refused interim relief while hearing a petition filed by two students of the Bhandarkar College of Arts and Science, Udupi.

The bench observed that the interim order passed by the high court on 10 February governs the issue at present, no relief could be granted while the matter is sub-judice.

This comes even though the earlier interim order of the high court clearly states that it does not apply to degree colleges.
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What Had the Karnataka HC Order Said About Degree Colleges?

The Karnataka High Court on 10 February had said in an interim order that religious dress of any kind would not be allowed in classrooms:

"We restrain all the students regardless of their religion or faith from wearing saffron shawls (Bhagwa), scarfs, hijab, religious flags or the like within the classroom, until further orders."

While the wording of the order mentioned above is ambiguous enough to apply to students in any educational institution, the high court did include a clarification at the end. In paragraph 11, it says:

"We make it clear that this order is confined to such of the institutions wherein the College Development Committees have prescribed the student dress code/uniform."

The College Development Committees for degree colleges do not prescribe uniforms, so it cannot apply to degree colleges or higher education institutions – this was acknowledged by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Higher Education Minister CN Ashwath Narayan.

“The Higher Education Minister has stated the facts. He has said that dress code is applicable where the rules exist and it is not there for higher education institutions or Degree colleges,” CM Bommai has said on 16 February, new agency PTI had reported.

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Topics:  Hijab   Karnataka hijab row 

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