The Kerala government has said that Student Police Cadets will not be allowed to wear a hijab or full sleeve dress or any other religious symbols as part of their uniform. The Student Police Cadets is a voluntary organisation and a school-based youth development initiative by the Kerala police. The order issued by the ruling Left government came after a petition was moved in the High Court, which argued that it was a religious obligation to wear the hijab.
According to reports, the order said the SPC has a dress code so that students can work towards non-religious discrimination and other such issues and therefore, combining the uniform with religious matters would affect the secular nature of the organisation.
"Combining religious matters with uniforms in the present situation would raise the same demands in other similarly functioning forces, which would question the discipline and secular survival of the forces," Bar & Bench quoted the order as saying.
The order came after a Class 8 student who hailed from Kozhikode had moved court to be allowed to wear the hijab, arguing that it was her fundamental right under Article 25(1) the Indian Constitution, which deals with freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion, subject to public order, morality and health.
However, the court abstained from passing an order, and instead asked the stateās Home Department to hear her petition and take a decision. The order issued by the Kerala government further noted that even in the Kerala police, all personnel wear the same uniform and no religious symbols are permitted as part of it. It said that the same rule would be applied for the Student Police Cadets as well.