By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: A special leave petition has been filed in the Supreme court by a Udupi student against the Karnataka High Court court order that ruled that wearing of hijab by Muslim women is not an essential religious practice in the Islamic faith and prescribing uniform is not a violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) and Article 25 of the Constitution.
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The plea states that the high court has failed to note that the right to wear a Hijab comes under the ambit of ‘expression’ and is thus protected under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
“… High Court has failed to note that the right to wear a Hijab is protected as a part of the right to conscience under Article 25 of the Constitution. It is submitted that since the right to conscience is essentially an individual right, the ‘Essential Religious Practices Test’ ought not to have been applied by the Hon’ble High Court in this instant case,” the plea reads.
It has been said in the plea that the high court has failed to note that the Indian legal system explicitly recognizes the wearing/carrying of religious symbols.
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“…It is pertinent to note that Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, exempts turban-wearing Sikhs from wearing a helmet. Order IX, Rule 8 of the Supreme Court Rules makes a special provision for affidavits that are to be sworn by pardanashin women…” It added.
Upholding the government order dated February 5, 2022, banning the hijab in classrooms, a full bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justices Krishna S Dixit, and Justice JM Khazi pronounced the verdict on a cluster of petitions questioning the order passed by the state government banning the wearing of hijab in classrooms.