The Supreme Court on Thursday (October 13) delivered a split verdict on pleas challenging the Karnataka High Court judgment refusing to lift the ban on hijab in educational institutions of the state.
The bench comprising Justice Hemant Gupta and Sudhandhu Dhulia pronounced the verdict. Karnataka HC had held in March, 2022 that hijab was not an essential part of Islam and had allowed the ban.
What the bench said: Justice Gupta decided to dismiss all the appeals in his decision. "I have answered all the questions against the appeals. I am proposing to dismiss the appeals," he said.
Karnataka Hijab ban case | The operative part of the order says that the matter has to be placed before the Chief Justice of India for the constitution of a larger bench or another bench: Advocate, Ezaz Maqbool, lawyer for the petitoner side pic.twitter.com/0wmz7t7gdh— ANI (@ANI) October 13, 2022
Justice Dhulia, on the other hand, allowed the appeals setting aside the judgment of the Karnataka HC. "The main thrust of my judgement is the entire concept of essential religious practice was not essential to the dispute. The High Court took a wrong path. It is ultimately a matter of choice and Article 14 and 19. It is a matter of choice and nothing less," he said.
The matter has been referred to the Chief Justice of India. In the view of the split verdict, the Karnataka HC verdict will be applicable for the time being.
What is the hijab ban issue? The whole saga began on December 28, 2021, when six girls wearing hijab were denied entry in a pre-university government college in Karnataka's Udupi.