Odishatv Bureau

Bringing an end to all speculations surrounding the Hijab row, the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday dismissed petitions filed by students seeking direction for permission to wear Hijab in classrooms.

In its landmark judgement, a full bench of the High Court comprised of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi held that wearing of Hijab is not a part of Essential Religious Practice in Islam and so is not protected under Article 25 of the Constitution.

The court observed that prescription of school uniform by the State is constitutional and a reasonable restriction and students can't object to it.

The court panel has upheld the order issued by the Karnataka government dated February 5 does not violate their rights.

In its judgement, the Court has dismissed all pleas filed by Muslim girl students, challenging action of a State-run PU college in denying them entry for wearing a headscarf.

Earlier, as a precautionary measure, security was beefed up across the state. Holiday was declared in the districts of Dakshina Kannada, Kalaburagi and Shivamogga for the schools and colleges.

Most of the districts imposed prohibitory orders in the surrounding areas of the educational institutions. Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant issued prohibitory orders restricting protests, celebrations and gatherings in the entire city for seven days from Monday.

The hijab row, which started as a protest by six students of the Udupi Pre-University Girl's College in January, turned into a big crisis and was also discussed at the international levels.

The counsels appearing for the petitioners contended that restrictions on hijab to classrooms is a violation of fundamental and religious rights. There is no legal standing for the School Development Committee (SDC) or College Development Committee (CDMC), they said.

They also argued that wearing of hijab is an integral part of Islam. However, the Advocate General and other counsels appearing for the government argued that wearing of hijab is not an essential part of Islam. They have also stated that the government respects the wearing of hijab and it had been left to the discretion of SDMC and SDC's.

It was also brought to the notice of the court that many Islamic and European countries have banned hijab.

(With Agency Inputs)

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