The Karnataka High Court has banned the Muslim girls from wearing Hijab at school premises in line with Karnataka government order.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn a Karnataka High Court decision that upheld the prohibition on hijab in schools, ruling that wearing headscarves by Muslim women is not an important religious practise.
The board, with two other petitioners, Munisa Bushra and Jaleesa Sultana Yaseen, has filed a petition with the Supreme Court. According to the plea, dismissal of the petitions by the High Court was erroneous grounds to address the problem.
“It is a case of direct discrimination against Muslim girls. The High Court has created distinction between the principles laid down in the case of Bijoe Emmanuel by giving different contextual meaning (as a case of discipline) and on the other hand the practice of hijab, is reflected as if it was a case disturbing the entire uniform that too when this minor variation (of covering the head like the Sikh’s do) can be reasonably accommodated within the constitutional norm being part of religious practice,” the plea read.
The petition said that putting too much stress on “uniformity” without allowing a member of one faith to “cover her hair with a piece of cloth” is a travesty of justice, and that the verdict also disregards the idea of reasonable accommodation.
The plea contended, “The determination of essentials under the principles of essential religious practice (ERP) had started with the idea of determination of essential religious practice that fell within the complete autonomy of the religious denomination in the matters of deciding as to what rites and ceremonies are essential according to tenets of a religion.”
The plea argued that, in dealing with the problem of fundamental rights protection, the High Court ruling gave an entirely incorrect construction to the idea of intelligible differentia.
“The plea added that by grouping all the students in uniformity without acknowledging that such interpretation is not only against the prevailing practices in different parts of the country but also such accommodations are generally available for differently grouped students. “It is completely irrational and against the objective of maintaining diversity as contemplated in the Constitution of India,” it added.
“A clutch of pleas has been moved in the apex court challenging the high court decision.”
“On March 24, the Supreme Court declined to give any specific date to hear a plea challenging the Karnataka High Court order, which dismissed all petitions seeking direction for permission to wear hijab in classrooms.”
“Another plea filed through advocate Adeel Ahmed and Rahamathullah Kothwal said the high court order creates an unreasonable classification between the non-Muslim female students and the Muslim female students and thereby is in straight violation of the concept of secularism which forms the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. The petitioners are Mohamed Arif Jameel and others.”
“The plea said, “the impugned order is also in sheer violation of the Article 14, 15, 19, 21 and 25 of the Indian Constitution and also violates the core principles of the International Conventions that India is a signatory to.”
“The plea further read, “The impugned order is also in sheer violation of the Article 14, 15, 19, 21 and 25 of the Indian Constitution and also violates the core principles of the International Conventions that India is a signatory to.”
“It further stated, “Being aggrieved by the impugned Government Order, as it is in violation of Indian constitution, the petitioner had approached the Hon’ble High Court by way of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition challenging the validity of the same.”