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Hijab row: Karnataka HC refers matter to larger bench

Studens stpped at gate for wearing Hijab

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday referred the matter on whether schools and colleges can order Muslim girls to not wear hijabs in class on to a larger bench.

The news: Justice Krishna S Dixit deemed it necessary to refer the matter to a larger bench.

  •  “I feel this matter requires consideration of larger bench. The wisdom emanating from neighbouring High Court judgments needs to be treated,” the Court said.
  • Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde, appearing for one of the petitioners, urged the Court to grant the students interim relief while the matter is referred to a larger bench.
  • They have only two months (of the academic year) left. Do not exclude them…we need to find a way that no girl child is deprived of education…Today what is absolutely important is that peace comes, Constitutional fraternity returns to the college. No heavens will fall for two months,” he said.
  • “These matters give rise to certain constitutional questions of seminal importance in view of certain aspects of personal law,” the bench said while referring it to a panel of judges to be led by the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, Ritu Raj Awasthi.
  • “In view of the enormity of questions of importance which were debated, the court is of the considered opinion that the Chief Justice should decide if a larger bench can be constituted in the subject matter,” Justice Krishna S Dixit said.
  • “The bench was also of the view that the interim prayers should also be placed before larger bench that may be constituted by Chief Justice Awasthi exercising his discretion,” he added.
  • The case was filed by a group of Muslim girls studying in government colleges in the Udupi district against a ban on wearing hijabs in classrooms.
  • The Hijab row in Karnataka took a violent turn on Tuesday, forcing policemen to fire tear gas to disperse a crowd at one government-run campus, while a heavy police presence was seen at schools in nearby towns.
  • Soon after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced all high schools in the state would be closed for three days.

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