Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Tuesday asked students, who have been denied access to their classrooms for choosing to wear hijab, to wait for two days for their appeals to come up in the Supreme Court.
CJI Raman said – “Please wait for two days… I will list,” He gave assurance to senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, she is speaking on behalf of the students.
Students have approached the Supreme Court against a Karnataka High Court judgment which had held that wearing Hijab was not an essential religious practice in Islam.
Niba Naaz, and his advocate Anas Tanwir, countered the Karnatka Courts judgment by arguing that the “Indian legal system explicitly recognizes the wearing/carrying of religious symbols… Motor Vehicles Act exempts turban-wearing Sikhs from wearing a helmet… Sikhs are allowed to carry kirpans into an aircraft”.
She argued that denying Muslim girls like her access to education, and thus, punishing them for wearing hijab to college was a violation of their right to privacy and right to religion.
“Freedom of conscience forms a part of the right to privacy, Any infringement of her right to privacy should be on the basis of a valid law, for a legitimate state interest and the law must be proportionate. No law prohibited hijab, she said.
Ms. Naaz argued that the High Court judgment had created a “dichotomy of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience”.
“This freedom would include the freedom to lawfully express one’s identity in the manner of their liking,” the student contended.
She termed the State government’s order as a “ridiculing attack” on Muslim students wearing hijab under the “guise of attaining secularity and equality on the basis of uniform”.
She said the State could not prescribe uniforms for students. It was for educational institutions to do so. Moreover, the law did not provide for the formation of “college development committees”.
Further, the Karnataka Educational Institutions Rules of 1995 did not make it mandatory for a school or institution to prescribe a uniform. In their case, no uniform had been prescribed by their respective institutions.
Ms. Naaz said the law did not require a student to be punished for not wearing a particular uniform. The act of denying students like her access to classrooms was illegal.
In February, the Supreme Court had assured the student’s protection of their constitutional rights and intervention at an “appropriate time”.
Also, Read – https://indianlawinfo.in/hijab-case-judgement/