A three judge bench of the Karnataka High Court headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and which also included justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice Jaibunnisa M Khazi has dismissed petition filed by some muslim students which challenged the Karnataka government order to ban the wearing of hijab in educational isntituions where uniform were prescribed.
The petition challenged the state government order dated 05.02.2022 issued under sections 7 & 133 of the Karnataka Education Act, 1983. This order directs the College Development Committees all over the State to prescribe ‘Student Uniform’,
In the RESHAM AND ANOTHER VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA AND OTHERS 2022 main issues raised by the petitioners in the court were as follows :
Whether wearing the hijab or the headscarf is part of essential religious practice in Islamic faith under article 25 of the Constitution?”
Second issue was ;Whether wearing school uniform is violation of petitioners fundamental rights guaranteed under article 19 (1) a of the constitution that is freedom of expression and article 21 that is privacy?
Third Issue was ; The government order of 5 February 2022 which made uniform compulsory in educational institution was violative of fundamental rights of article 14 ,which guarantees equality before law and article 15 which prohibits the dicrimination by state on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them?
The High Court Judgement
The High Court held that “wearing of the hijab by Muslim women does not make up an essential religious practice in Islamic faith” as per the article 25 of the constitution which provides freedom to practice and propagate of religion in India.
On the second issue the court held that the government has the power to impose reasonable restrictions on the right to freedom under Article 19 of the constitution. Hence the government move to prescribe uniforms for the students is a reasonable restriction under article 19 of the constitution. The state can make this rule.
On the third issue the court held that the government was competent to issue the 5 February order 2022 which made uniform compulsory for students and banned hijab was valid.
Seat of Karnataka High Court : Bangalore
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