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Hijab: Hearing continues in Supreme Court on 9th day – Many Muslim women do not wear hijab: Justice GuptaATN News

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On September 21, Wednesday, the hearing related to hijab in the Supreme Court continued for the 9th day. Karnataka Government’s Advocate General Parbholinga Nawadgi presented further arguments in the context of ban on hijab. In between, Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Sidhanshu Dhulia continued to quench their curiosity by questioning him. Citing several incidents, Justice Hemant Gupta said that many Muslim women do not wear hijab.

Karnataka Advocate General Prabholinga Navadgi argued that not every religious practice is protected under Article 25 of the Constitution. Referring to the decisions of the Supreme Court, he said that triple talaq and cow slaughter are not essential religious practices in Islam. In order to claim protection under Article 25, applicants must demonstrate that hijab is an essential religious practice. There is no fundamental right to wear hijab under Article 25. The question before the court is whether the ban on school uniforms is permissible or not.

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The AG said that the state (Karnataka) only wants to instill discipline among students by regulating the uniform. He said that we have not banned hijab outside, there is no ban on wearing it in school bus or other vehicles. There is no restriction even in the school premises. It’s just in class.

As for the right to privacy under Article 21, it cannot be exercised in all areas. The AG also denied allegations that the state has targeted a particular community. It’s a case of the student versus the school. This is not a case of students versus the government.

As arguments began in the court on Wednesday, Justice Hemant Gupta questioned that if hijab is not an essential religious practice, then how is it to be determined what kind of practice it is? Referring to the Quran, Justice Gupta said that the petitioner girls are saying that what is written in the Quran is the word of God and it is necessary to obey it. To this, the AG replied that this is not an argument that it is a fundamental right to religion. Not every worldly act is necessarily a religious act. If everything said in the Qur’an is necessary, then only that would meet the criteria of inevitability. Every aspect of the Quran can be religious but not obligatory. There are many women who do not wear hijab. But this does not mean that they are less Muslim.

Justice Hemant Gupta agreed with the SG’s argument and said that there is a large section of Muslim women who do not wear hijab. Live Law quoted Justice Gupta’s words and wrote – I know someone in Pakistan. A judge of Lahore High Court who used to come to India. He has a wife and two daughters, I have never seen these little girls wearing hijab, at least in India. … There are many Muslim women in Punjab who do not wear hijab. When I went to UP or Patna, I interacted with Muslim families and saw women not wearing hijab. On this, the AG reiterated that what is said in the Quran cannot be necessary.

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Justice Dhulia raised several questions on Wednesday. He questioned why the state did not ask the High Court to dispose of the issue of essential religious practice. Justice Dhulia said, the state could have asked not to perform an essential religious practice… Your argument was that it is not an essential religious practice. Then you should have taken responsibility. On this, the AG said that there was a reluctance between them to discuss this aspect. He asked the law officers not to bring the Quran in the court as it is a sacred book.

During the debate, Justice Dhulia asked, “Now you are imposing ban, such ban can be imposed only under 19(2) of the Act.” Is a state government circular a “law”? The AG said the ban is under Rule 11 of the Karnataka Education Rules, which has not been challenged by the petitioners. He clarified, the school has the authority to decide on the uniform. Governance is the source of this power, not circular. The court questioned whether wearing a headscarf is against unity and equality. According to the applicants, there should be no uniform. Justice Dhulia asked, “Some schools don’t even have uniforms and the government circular uses the word ‘unity and equality’. What is this?”

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