Karnataka Hijab Row: Amidst the ongoing controversy over wearing hijab, the Karnataka High Court has given a big decision today. The Karnataka High Court has said that hijab is not a mandatory part of Islam and school students cannot refuse to wear uniform. Along with this, the High Court also dismissed the petition on behalf of Muslim girl students seeking permission to wear hijab in colleges. People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief and former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah have now expressed displeasure over this decision of the High Court.
What did Mehbooba Mufti say?
Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “The Karnataka High Court’s decision to uphold the hijab ban is extremely disappointing. On one hand we talk of empowerment of women and on the other we are denying them the right to a simple alternative. It is not just about religion, but about freedom to choose.
Karnataka HC’s decision to uphold the Hijab ban is deeply disappointing. On one hand we talk about empowering women yet we are denying them the right to a simple choice. Its isn’t just about religion but the freedom to choose.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) March 15, 2022
What did Omar Abdullah say?
At the same time, Omar Abdullah wrote, “Very disappointed with the decision of the Karnataka High Court. What you can think of the hijab, it’s not just about the clothes. It is about a woman’s right to dress how she wants to dress. The court did not uphold this fundamental right. It’s a joke.”
Very disappointed by the verdict of the Karnataka High Court. Regardless of what you may think about the hijab it’s not about an item of clothing, it’s about the right of a woman to choose how she wants to dress. That the court didn’t uphold this basic right is a travesty.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 15, 2022
What did the High Court say?
The three-judge bench said that the school uniform rule is a reasonable restriction and is constitutionally permissible, on which the girl students cannot raise any objection. A bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khaji said, “We are of the opinion that wearing of hijab by Muslim women is not a part of the essential religious practice in the religion of Islam”.
The bench also said that the government has the right to issue the government order dated February 5, 2022 and there is no case to hold it invalid. In this order, the state government had banned the wearing of those clothes, which disrupt equality, integrity and public order in schools and colleges. The court also dismissed a petition seeking initiation of a disciplinary inquiry against the college, its principal and a teacher.
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