SC reserves order on petitions challenging Karnataka HC on hijab ban

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court judgement refusing to lift the ban on hijab in educational institutions of the state.

On March 15, the high court had dismissed petitions filed by a section of Muslim students from the Government Pre-University Girls College in Udupi seeking permission to wear hijab inside the classroom, saying it is not a part of the essential religious practice in Islamic faith.

The state government had, by its order of February 5, 2022, banned wearing clothes that disturb equality, integrity, and public order in schools and colleges.

Several pleas have been filed in the apex court challenging the high court verdict.

A bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia reserved its verdict in the matter.

The Karnataka Government, while justifying its decision to prescribe a dress code in the educational institutes, apprised the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it had prescribed uniforms which were religion-neutral.

Representing Karnataka state, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) KM Nataraj said on Wednesday that the state has not banned Hijab but has only prescribed a uniform which is religion-neutral. ASG Nataraj submitted that the state government had neither prohibited nor promoted any religious activity.

(With inputs from PTI)