During the ongoing hearing in the Supreme Court over petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court’s order that upheld the ban on wearing a hijab in educational institutions, senior advocate Dushyant Dave representing the petitioners claimed that the case is “really about malice in law.”
Today is the seventh day of the hearing by a bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia.
'Religious Right is Individualistic': Sr Advocate Dushyant Dave
Asserting that Muslim girls wearing a hijab cannot be said to have hurt anybody’s sentiments, Dave said, "Religious right is individualistic, it is the choice of an individual…"
He added that issues such as ‘love jihad’ and the dispute over Muslim girls wearing hijabs to educational institutions is indicative of a pattern to “marginalise” the minority community.
"How is it unity in diversity if a Hindu has to get permission from Magistrate to marry a Muslim? How can you shackle love? And Magistrate will take his sweet time and all the fringe elements will come in. How is it democracy?"Dushyant Dave
'Like turban for Sikhs, hijab is important for Muslim women'
Dave said that Muslim women have been wearing hijab in countries such as Malaysia and across America, and added that in the modern world, Muslim women want to wear the headscarf.
He asked if wearing the hijab was threatening the unity of India, to which Justice Dhulia retorted, “Nobody is saying that. Even the (High Court) judgment does not.”
"Just like turban for Sikhs, hijab is important for Muslim women. Nothing wrong with that. It is their faith. Somebody wanting to wear tilak, somebody wanting to wear the cross, everybody has the right."Dushyant Dave
'When it comes to the classroom, there is no fundamental right'
Stating that judgments on religious practices are usually restricted to religious places, Justice Gupta said, "The problem the High Court sets for itself is whether it is essential religious practice, it holds it is only directory, it discusses fundamental rights and says when it comes to the classroom, there is no fundamental right.”
To this, Dave responded by referring to the Shiru Mutt, which mentioned that the propagation of religion can take place in a “parlour meeting” also.
“And classroom is a respectful place. Look at our Prime Minister. How beautifully he wears turbans on important days... it is a way to respect the people,” Dave said.
(With inputs from LiveLaw.)