During the ongoing Supreme Court hearing on the Karnataka burdha controversy, the state government has said that making uniform compulsory does not violate the religious/religious rights of any student. AG: The Karnataka government’s Advocate General also told the court that such a move would ban any form of religious dress, including the hijab, in educational institutions. The hearing was held in the Supreme Court on Wednesday (21 September 2022).
According to media reports, a bench comprising Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Sudanshu Dhulia is conducting the inquiry. During the same hearing, the Karnataka Government’s Advocate General (Advocate General) Prabuling Navadki argued that all girls in favor of the hijab could wear it outside of school. Uniform Describing uniform as very important for unity and discipline, the Advocate General of Karnataka Government said that it creates a good learning environment.
At the same time, advocates of hijab, referring to Article 25, told the court that wearing it is a ‘religious right’ of Muslim female students. The same lawyers also termed the demand for hijab as ‘freedom of expression’ under Article 19.
Responding to the ‘right to religion’ or ‘freedom of expression’ argument, the Karnataka Government’s Advocate General cited a 1958 Supreme Court hearing to justify cow sacrifice, explaining how In Bakrit, it was held to be religious, which was right, which was dismissed by a bench of five judges, including the Chief Justice.
The Advocate General of the Government of Karnataka further stated in his submission that: Since 1958 the Supreme Court has on various occasions interpreted freedom of religion/religious rights. The Supreme Court has said that all religious activities cannot be allowed in the name of religious freedom / religious rights.
The Advocate General said: To establish equality in education, it has been decided to provide free uniform to all children up to class 10. In the same case, Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj argued in the Supreme Court whether Muslims should start performing Namaz and Hindus Havan, whether it can be called religious/religious rights. He also opposed mixing religious/religious rights in educational institutions.
During the same hearing, the teachers of Udupi Institute, where the Purdha controversy started, through their lawyer R. Venkataramani, said that the fight between religious/religious symbols in the school is spoiling the learning environment there. D Seshatri Naidu, another advocate appearing for the teachers, said that religion/religion should be in the heart of children and they should stay away from religion/religion related controversies and focus only on studies.
This trial, which has been going on for 8 days in the Supreme Court, has now reached its final stage. For 6 of these 8 days, pro-hijab lawyers presented their case in court. In the remaining 2 days, the Karnataka government has presented its case to the Supreme Court.