The Supreme Court has declined to “urgently” hear a Special Leave Petition against Karnataka High Court’s decision regarding the hijab case, with the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana saying the court will see the issue at an “appropriate time”.
An appeal has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Karnataka High Court order that has asked students not to insist on wearing any cloth on campuses of educational institutions which can instigate people, till the matter is resolved. However, the formal order is yet to be uploaded by the High Court.
Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat submitted that the HC says none of the students should raise religious identity while going to school and colleges. “It has far-reaching consequences for other faiths too, and not only Muslims. For example, the Sikhs wear turbans. This in effect is complete suspension.”
The CJI said he doesn’t want to express anything and urged not to take it on a larger level. “We also know what’s happening in the state and hearing, and you also have to think over whether it’s proper to bring it to Delhi. Definitely, we’ll examine and we’ll have to protect constitutional rights. Mr Kamat, don’t go into merits. Let us see appropriate time, we’ll hear.”
The full bench of the Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed for all institutions to start. It said till the matter is pending consideration before the court, the students and stakeholders shall not insist on wearing religious garments – may be headdress or saffron shawl. “We will restraint everyone. Because we want peace and tranquility in State (Karnataka). We are seized with the matter. We can continue the matter on day to day basis.”
Meanwhile, the students of Azim Premji University extended their support and solidarity to peers in Karnataka who have been harassed because of the hijab issue. “We stand in solidarity with these students who have been harassed by mobs and denied education based on their attires (religious or otherwise). Such incidents have the potential of creating institutionalized discrimination based on gender, religion, caste, etc,” the students said in a signed letter. “We strongly condemn these unfortunate acts and also urge other student communities to speak up peacefully. In these gloomy and unprecedented times, we believe that our voice and collectiveness will matter.”