New Delhi: On October 13, a Supreme Court panel of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia issued a divided decision on appeals challenging the Karnataka high court’s decision upholding a Karnataka government order prohibiting the hijab in public schools.
11 points were posed by Justice Gupta in the case, and he answered them all in the petitioners’ favour, citing, among other things, the fact that secularism applies to all citizens and that allowing one particular community to wear its sacred insignia would be in opposition to secularism.
“The question this Court would put before itself is also whether we are making the life of a girl child any better by denying her education merely because she wears a hijab”. “By asking girls to take off hijab before they enter school gates is an invasion on their privacy, then an attack on their dignity & ultimately a denial to them of secular education; violative of Article 19(1)(a), 21& 25(1),” In addition, Justice Dhulia added.
In the interim, the Chief Justice of India has been asked to appoint a larger bench. The appeals against the March 15 ruling that refused to overturn the ban were denied by the bench’s chief justice, Justice Hemant Gupta. He concluded that wearing a hijab is not a “essential religious practice” of Islam, in contrast to Justice Dhulia, who stated that wearing a headscarf in Karnataka schools and colleges is entirely permissible and is ultimately a “matter of choice.”