Hijab not essential religious practice: Karnataka High Court rules upholding ban
The Karnataka High Court in its verdict said a hijab is not an essential religious practice, dealing a blow to the students who had challenged a ban on wearing the Islamic head scarf following a massive row. Reports said following the verdict the Karnataka government has prohibited big gatherings in Bengaluru for a week while Section 144 was also imposed in different parts of the state.
Ahead of the verdict, the state government has banned large gatherings for a week in state capital Bengaluru "to maintain public peace and order".
A group of students from Udupi had gone to court and challenged the ban on headscarves in the state's educational institutions.
The students had contended that there is no law that prohibits the use of headscarves in educational institutions.
According to the students, the hijab is protected under the religious freedoms granted by the Constitution and no college development body is equipped to take a call on whether it can be banned in view of a public order violation.
The Karnataka government has told the court that there is no restriction on wearing hijab in India except reasonable restrictions subject to institutional discipline.
The row had started in January as students at a school in Udupi refused to remove headscarves and stop their use despite requests from teachers.