The petitioner is among six students who have been barred from attending classes in Karnataka for weeks, for wishing to wear a hijab inside the classroom.

Students demanding they be allowed to wear hijab in schools
news Controversy Thursday, February 03, 2022 - 18:29

The Karnataka High Court will hear a writ petition filed by a student at the Women’s Government Pre-University College in Udupi who is among a group of students who have been denied entry into their classroom while wearing hijabs, next Tuesday, February 8. The petitioner is among six students who have been barred from attending classes as the school administration said that wearing a hijab is in violation of the dress code since December 27, 2021. On January 31, the student had approached the High Court seeking interim relief to attend classes wearing the hijab before the entire matter was settled. Live Law reported that when the case came up for hearing on Thursday, February 3, the state government counsel told the bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit that the state’s Advocate General will represent Karnataka in this case. 

In her petition, the student has argued that wearing a hijab was her fundamental right guaranteed under Article 14 and 25 of the Constitution. She also mentioned that in a 2016 case, the Kerala High Court held that wearing a hijab was an essential Islamic practice. Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees the right of equality before law while Article 25 gives freedom of religion to all persons in India. She said disallowing her to attend classes was against constitutional morality as it serves no public interest. As of Monday, Udupi MLA Raghupati Bhat who is the chairman of the school development monitoring committee has stated that they will not allow students wearing hijab inside the school premises.

Read: Karnataka hijab row: Student moves HC, seeks interim relief to attend classes

The controversy, since it broke out at the end of 2021, has attracted international attention. Following this, the state government had formed an expert committee to settle the dispute. However, since then, similar incidents have been reported. There have been at least two instances where students have been denied entry into schools for wearing hijab.

Read: Never agreed to come without hijab: Students continue protest at Udupi college

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