Supreme Court to give verdict on Hijab Ban issue today
According to news agency ANI, the Supreme Court will rule on Thursday on petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court's decision to uphold the ban on hijab in Karnataka schools and colleges. After hearing 10 days of arguments, a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia reserved its verdict on the petitions against the Karnataka High Court's decision refusing to lift the hijab ban on September 22. Justice Gupta, who is currently presiding over the bench, will step down on October 16.
During the Supreme Court hearing, lawyers representing the petitioners insisted that prohibiting Muslim girls from wearing the hijab in class would jeopardise their studies because they could be prohibited from attending classes.
Some lawyers had also requested that the case be referred to a five-member constitution bench. Simultaneously, lawyers representing the state government stated that the Karnataka government's decision to stir up controversy over the hijab was "religion-neutral."
On March 15, the High Court dismissed petitions filed by a group of Muslim female students at the Government Pre-University Girls' College in Udupi, Karnataka, seeking permission to wear the hijab in class. At the same time, the court stated that the hijab is not a required religious practise in Islam. On February 5, 2022, some Muslim female students filed a High Court petition challenging the state government's decision.
Numerous petitions were filed in the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the High Court.
The state counsel had argued in the apex court that the movement in support of wearing hijab in academic institutions was not a "spontaneous act" by some individuals, and that the government would have been "guilty of breach of constitutional duty" if it had not acted the way it did.