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Hijab row: SC notice to Karnataka

"You wanted urgent listing and now you want the hearing adjourned. We will not allow this," the bench said.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Karnataka government and others and sought their detailed responses on a batch of appeals filed by petitioners challenging the Karnataka High Court’s verdict upholding the ban on wearing hijabs in educational institutions.

A two-judge Bench headed by Justice Hemant Gupta and also comprising Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia issued notice to the Karnataka government and others and sought their replies.

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During the hearing, when some parties sought to defer the matter, Justice Gupta slammed the petitioner and said no forum shopping will be allowed.

“You wanted urgent listing and now you want the hearing adjourned. We will not allow this,” the bench said.

The Supreme Court fixed the matter for further hearing on September 5.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Karnataka government, said to let the court issue notice as all the parties are here present.

To which, the Supreme Court issued notice to the Karnataka government and others and sought their response.

The High Court of Karnataka passed a judgment on March 15 dismissing a petition filed by a group of Muslim girl students against the Pre University (PU) Government College for denying them entry while wearing hijab.

The high court said the hijab was not an essential practice under Islam and it does not fall within the ambit of Article 25 of the Constitution.

The High Court also held that the prescription of school uniforms is only a reasonable restriction that is constitutionally permissible which the students cannot object to.

A full Bench of the High Court also held that the wearing of hijab by women was not an essential religious practice of Islam.

The petitions filed before the Supreme Court want the hijab to be allowed in educational institutions.

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