The full bench of the Karnataka High Court, which concluded its hearing in the Hijab case, today upheld the order restricting students from wearing any religious cloths inside educational institutions’ premises. The High Court noted that wearing Hijab is not essential to Islam and also noted that the state government has power to issue an order in this regard. Ahead of the verdict, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure were imposed in parts of Karnataka, including Bengaluru. The demand by a section of girls in an Udupi pre-university college to wear Hijab inside their classrooms erupted into a major row after some Hindu students turned up in saffron shawls with the issue spreading to other parts of the state, even as the government insisted on a uniform norm.
According to the lawyers appearing for the petitioner girls from Udupi district, the matter pertaining to Hijab case has been listed for today as serial No. 1 and the court may spell out the operative part of the verdict from 10.30 am onwards. 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. On January 1, six girl students of a college in Udupi attended a press conference held by the Campus Front of India (CFI) in the coastal town protesting against the college authorities denying them entry into classrooms wearing headscarves. This was four days after they requested the principal permission to wear hijab in classes which was not allowed. Till then, students used to wear the headscarf to the campus, but entered the classroom after removing it, college principal Rudre Gowda had said.