BENGALURU: Strongly defending the stand of the state government on the hijab issue, Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadagi argued before the Karnataka High Court that the ban is perfectly in accordance with the provisions of the Karnataka Education Act.
Referring to the issues raised by the counsels of the petitioners-students questioning the order passed by the state government on February 5, 2022 to ban the hijab and saffron shawls, Navadagi contended that the hijab is not an essential part of religious practice, as claimed by them.
He also argued that a ban on the hijab in campuses does not violate the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. As the government does not want to interfere in the matter, religious issues in educational institutions including the decision of prescribing uniforms was left autonomously to the College Development Committee (CDC), he added.
Contending that the impugned government order does not affect any rights of the petitioners-students, he also defended the constitution of CDCs in colleges.
Meanwhile, the full bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices Krishna S Dixit and JM Khazi adjourned the hearing to Monday.
Before the adjournment, a counsel of the students submitted before the court that the interim order is being misused by some educational institutions asking students to remove the hijab, though the order was restricted to institutions where CDCs are constituted.
This apart, the minorities welfare department has also implemented the interim order in the educational institutions coming under it, he added. The Advocate General objected, saying that there was no cause of action.
Then the bench asked the counsel to file a proper application before the court to take cognisance.