Karnataka High Court on Tuesday dismissed various petitions challenging a ban on Hijab in education institutions. The Karnataka High Court said that wearing Hijab is not an essential religious practice of Islam. The Karnataka High Court also said that no case is made out for invalidating the Government Order of February 5. “We are of the considered opinion that wearing of Hijab by Muslim women does not form a part of essential religious practice in Islamic faith,” Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi who headed the full bench of the High Court said reading out portion of the order. The other two judges in the panel were Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice J M Khazi. The bench also maintained that the government has power to issue impugned government order dated February 5, 2022 and no case is made out for its invalidation. By the said order, the state government had banned wearing clothes which disturb equality, integrity and public order in schools and colleges. The court also rejected the plea to initiate a disciplinary inquiry against the college, its principal and a teacher. “In the above circumstances, all these writ petitions being devoid of merits are liable to be and accordingly are dismissed. In view of the dismissal of the writ petition, all the pending applications fell into insignificance and are accordingly disposed off,” the bench said in its order.
The full bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice J M Khazi was constituted on February 9 on a petition filed by girls from Udupi who prayed that they should be allowed to wear Hijab even inside the classroom along with the school uniform as it was part of their faith.
The hijab protests in Karnataka began in January this year when some students of Government Girls PU college in the Udupi district of the state alleged that they had been barred from attending classes. During the protests, some students claimed they were denied entry into the college for wearing hijab.
Following this incident, students of different colleges arrived at Shanteshwar Education Trust in Vijayapura wearing saffron stoles. The situation was the same in several colleges in the Udupi district.