Source: Bloomberg Quint.

Hijab ban in classroom: SC refuses urgent hearing on pleas against Karnataka HC verdict

New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to accord urgent hearing on the pleas challenging the Karnataka High Court verdict which dismissed the petitions seeking permission to wear hijab inside the classroom and stated that the headscarf is not a part of the essential religious practice in Islam.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana and Justice Krishna Murari denied the request of senior advocate Devadatt Kamat, who mentioned the matter seeking urgent listing, saying that examinations are going on.

“Exams have nothing to do with the issue,” the bench said.

Solicitor General [SG] Tushar Mehta submitted that they are repeatedly mentioning the matter.

“Mr SG, can you wait?” the apex court said, while asking Kamat not to sensitise the issue.

“These are girls…the exams are from 28th. They are being prevented from entering the schools. One year will go,” Kamat said.

The court, however, did not accede to the request.

On March 16, the Supreme Court had agreed to list for hearing after Holi vacation the pleas challenging the Karnataka High Court verdict which dismissed the petitions seeking permission to wear hijab inside the classroom.

It had taken note of the submissions of senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, appearing for some students, that urgent hearing was needed keeping in mind the upcoming examinations.

Some petitions have been filed against the full bench high court verdict, which held, among other things, that wearing hijab is not a part of essential religious practice in the Islamic faith under Article 25 of the Constitution.

The high court had dismissed the 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.

The prescription of school uniform is only a reasonable restriction, constitutionally permissible which the students cannot object to, the high court had said.