A student had moved the Supreme Court against the Karnataka HC’s interim order barring students from wearing religious clothing to schools and colleges till the matter is resolved.

Juxtaposition of protesting hijab-clad students in teh foreground and the Supreme Court in the background
news Court Friday, February 11, 2022 - 12:13

The Supreme Court on Thursday, February 11, said that it will not yet hear the plea filed by a student challenging the interim direction of the Karnataka High Court that has asked students not to insist on wearing a hijab or a saffron shawl on campuses of educational institutions until the matter is resolved. The plea, which was filed by a student, sought a stay on the HC’s interim order.

Senior advocate Devadutt Kamat submitted that the High Court has restrained the students from disclosing their religious identities, which results in the suspension of Article 25 in the Indian Constitution, and that this would lead into larger consequences. To this, the CJI replied that the High Court is already hearing the matter.  The Chief Justice orally observed, "Don't spread these things to a larger level...we don't want to express anything on it." He also told Kamat, "We are watching it and we know what is happening. Think, is it proper to bring it to the national level…"

Kamat mentioned the plea by a petitioner challenging the Karnataka High Court's interim order to students not to insist on wearing religious attire till the court has decided the matter. The Chief Justice emphasised that if there is constitutional rights' violation of any individual, the court would intervene at the appropriate time and uphold its responsibility to protect citizens’ Constitutional rights. "We will take it up at an appropriate time," the bench said.

Read: No religious garments on campuses till we decide case: Karnataka HC on hijab row

The appeal filed by the student in the Supreme Court had contended that the High Court sought to curtail the fundamental right of Muslim students by not allowing them to wear the hijab. The High Court has posted the matter for Monday, and also said educational institutions can resume classes for students.

Read: Karnataka hijab row: Schools for Class 8, 9 & 10 to reopen, decision on colleges later

The three-judge full bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice JM Khazi and Justice Krishna S Dixit, which was formed on Wednesday, also said it wants the matter to be resolved at the earliest but till that time peace and tranquillity is to be maintained. "Till the disposal of the matter, you people should not insist on wearing all these religious things," CJ Awasthi had said. "We will pass an order. Let the schools-colleges start. But till the matter is resolved, no student should insist on wearing religious dress", he said.

Read: How the Karnataka anti-hijab protests were part of a calculated plot across the state

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