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Karnataka Education Minister Gets Legal Notice for Contradicting HC Hijab Order

The HC order says that if the school or college allows wearing hijab, students who choose to can wear hijab.

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The All India Lawyers’ Association For Justice, an organisation of lawyers and law students, has sent a legal notice to Karnataka Minister of Primary and Secondary Education BC Nagesh stating that he issued misleading statements over the Karnataka High Court’s order on the uniform rules and wearing of hijab.

The association has said that the minister’s statement on 28 March that students will not be allowed to wear hijabs while writing the board exams contradicts the government order of 25 March that said uniforms that are fixed by the government or private schools are to be worn. This means that if the school or college allows wearing hijab, those students can.

However, Minister BC Nagesh had said hijabs will not be allowed in any examination halls and students in hijabs will not be allowed to enter the exam hall.

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The association has said that the minister’s statement contradicts the Karnataka High Court order on the batch of pleas on the hijab case.

“The judgement did not impose a blanket ban on hijab. The judgement upheld the G.O. dated 05.02.2022, which specified that any uniform that had been fixed by the government or a private school in accordance with the law has to be adhered to,” the legal notice to BC Nagesh said.

“Additionally, the judgement is restricted to the classroom, and the Hon’ble High Court has specifically clarified that “It hardly needs to be stated that this does not rob off the autonomy of women or their right to education inasmuch as they can wear any apparel of their choice outside the classroom,” it said further.

In the letter, AILAJ has called Nagesh’s remarks “irresponsible and misleading” and said that they are in violation of his constitutional oath and promote communal disharmony.

“Your statements have resulted in massive and unwarranted repercussions,” the AILAJ said, citing the suspension of teachers for allowing students in hijab to write the exam. “Your statements go beyond the scope of the orders in question and have resulted in a violation of rights of Muslim girl children.”

The AILAJ has asked the minister to immediately withdraw his statements, as they “fall foul of the judgement of the Karnataka High Court, as well as the relevant government orders.” The association has also asked the minister to issue a clarification.

(Published in arrangement with The News Minute.)

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