On Wednesday, the Supreme Court said it would rule on a petition demanding the right of women to take exams in a hijab while attending government schools in Karnataka.
The Supreme Court’s decision continues to govern despite the split decision. (ANI)
On Wednesday, a group of schoolgirls filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding that state educational institutions in Karnataka allow them to take exams while wearing the hijab.
Girls wearing the hijab will not be allowed to sit for the exams, which are scheduled to begin March 9, because the Supreme Court is divided on the issue of the headscarf ban.
They have a headscarf on. They are not permitted into the test room wearing a headscarf. The court might think about listing it on Monday or Friday based solely on that narrow feature, according to attorney Shadan Farasat.
A group of Muslim students of Government Pre-College Girls College in Udupi, Karnataka, filed a petition in the Supreme Court on March 15 to allow the wearing of hijab in class. However, it was dismissed as it is not an essential part of the Islamic faith.
To hear the dispute over the hijab ban in Karnataka, the SC may convene a three-judge court.
Following its split decision on the issue of wearing the Islamic head covering in schools in Karnataka, the Supreme Court announced Monday that it is likely to form a three-judge panel to hear the matter.
Hijab girls ban for permission..
Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora’s arguments that an injunction was needed given the practical exams starting for several classes in the state on February 6 were noted by a bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandarchud and Justices V Ramasubramanian and JB Pardiwala.
Some girls have migrated to private universities because of the ban on wearing hijabs, but they still have to take their exams in government institutions, he told the court, which also included Justice P S Narasimha. If they weren’t allowed to do so, they risked losing another year, he warned.
I’ll take a decision, the chief justice replied.
Despite the split decision, the Supreme Court’s ruling is still a landmark.
The hijab controversy was adjourned after the split decision last Oct. 13 because both judges suggested the case be brought before a larger court.
The court had earlier said it was open to the idea of setting up a three-judge panel to hear the case, which involves the ban on wearing hijabs in public schools in Karnataka.
While Justice Hemant Gupta, now retired, had dismissed petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court’s March 15 decision not to lift the ban, Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia ruled that the wearing of the hijab in the state’s schools and colleges would not be restricted.
Justice Gupta had said that allowing a group to wear its religious symbols in schools was “antithetical to secularism,” while Justice Dhulia stressed that wearing the Muslim hijab should only be a “matter of choice”
The Supreme Court’s decision remains in effect despite the Supreme Court’s split decision. However, the divided decision delayed the resolution of the hijab dispute, as both justices suggested that the case be referred to a larger court for a decision.