SC on banning the hijab: “Educational institutions have the power to prescribe uniforms”

The Supreme Court noted Thursday that the rules state that educational institutions have the power to prescribe uniforms.

The remark came from a bench of Judges Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia, who were hearing various pleas against the Karnataka HC judgment upholding the ban on Hijab in educational institutions. The court noted that a petitioner’s lawyer argues that a private club can have a dress code, but a public educational institution does not.

The lawyer also argued that the school cannot restrict entry to not wearing a dress.

Judge Gupta asked if you argue that government schools cannot have uniforms.

The lawyer replied that although educational institutes could, they could not restrict the wearing of hijab.

Justice Dhulia noted that the rules state that educational institutions have the power to prescribe uniforms. The hijab is different, the judge added.

The hearing in this case will continue on Monday (September 19).

The arguments which lasted more than four hours saw many well-known lawyers arguing on behalf of various claimants.

Senior lawyers Kapil Sibal, Meenakshi Arora, Jayna Kothari, AM Dar were among the well-known lawyers who presented their cases on behalf of the petitioners in the higher court.

Senior Counsel Dushyant Dave said the matter needs serious attention and should be referred to a wider bench. Lead Counsel Dave will plead on behalf of the petitioner next Monday.

Senior Advocate Sibal pointed out that the hijab is also a cultural right protected by article 29 and that the consequence of denying young girls is to deprive them of the fundamental rights of access to education, privacy and to dignity.

Senior Advocate Sibal also raised questions about how it harms public order if Muslim girls wear the hijab.

Judge Dhulia observed that the government restricted him after other students started wearing shawls and all.

Lead attorney Jayna Kothari said this is not a case where all girls are discriminated against or all Muslims are discriminated against, but it specifically affects Muslim girls.

Lead Attorney AM Dar questioned the Karnataka High Court order and said what the Karnataka HC held was wrong.

As the hearing was inconclusive today, the case will continue to be heard next Monday, September 19. (ANI)

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