Karnataka HC upholds ban on wearing of hijab by students in classroom

IN a detailed judgment, the Karnataka high court’s full bench comprising the Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices Krishna S. Dixit and J.M. Khazi, held earlier today that the wearing of hijab is not part of the essential religious practice of Islamic faith under Article 25 of the Constitution.

The bench also held that the prescription of school uniform is constitutionally permissible, and therefore, not violative of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. The bench also held that such prescription is not violative of the right to privacy, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The bench concluded that the Government Order [GO] issued by the state government this year prescribing school uniform does not suffer from lack of application of mind, as alleged by the petitioners in this case. No case is made out that the order is manifestly arbitrary, and therefore, violative of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution, the bench unanimously held.

The bench, finally, dismissed the plea of the petitioners for a direction to hold disciplinary proceedings against the respondents in this case, and issue of quo warranto against them for issuing the GO restricting the wearing of hijab by the students within the school premises. “The plea is not maintainable, as no case is made out”, the bench read out from the operative part of the order.

Click here to read the Karnataka High Court’s judgment.

Readers may find The Leaflet’s previous coverage of the hijab row here.