On Monday, the Karnataka High Court heard the Hijab dispute. The government decree prohibiting hijab is reckless, according to Devdutt Kamat, the counsel representing the girl students who appealed the ban.
They claim that the government's action violates Article 25 of the Constitution and is therefore unenforceable. Article 25 guarantees the freedom to follow one's religious convictions. That is why there is no law prohibiting the wearing of the hijab. The case will be heard in the High Court today as well.
In the current hearing before the Chief Justice's bench, Kamat asked why, if wearing hijab is permitted in central schools, it is not permitted in state government schools. The government order, according to Kamat, declares that the topic of wearing a headscarf, or hijab, is not addressed by Article 25.
It should be up to the College Development Committee to decide whether it should be included in the uniform or not. It is totally illegal, according to Kamat, to delegate decision-making authority over the hijab to college committees. In this case, the court asked the media to be cautious in their coverage of the matter. The court then deferred the case until the following day, Tuesday.
Schools in Karnataka reopened on Monday after being closed for nearly a week due to the hijab controversy, and Muslim female students removed their hijab and returned to class. Following an interim injunction issued by the High Court, Udupi Tehsildar Pradeep Kurudekar stated Muslim girl students are entering courses by removing their headscarf.
At the same time, no one has complained about a Hindu student wearing a saffron scarf to school. Section 144 remained in effect in sensitive locations such as Udupi and Bangalore throughout this time. According to education department sources, student attendance at Udupi district schools was normal. Pre-scheduled examinations were also held on Monday at the same time. The administration has decided to implement a precautionary section 144 inside 200 metres of schools, which will be in effect until February 19.
To deal with any adverse incidents, police units were stationed surrounding the schools. Meanwhile, the head of Pejawar Mutt in Udupi, Swami Vishwaprasanna Teertha, has appealed to all groups to prevent unrest and maintain peace. On Sunday, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai expressed optimism that the state would return to normalcy.
He also stated that after reviewing the circumstances, a decision on the reopening of pre-university and degree colleges would be made. The government announced on Friday that the designated holiday for colleges under the Department of Higher Education and the Department of Collegiate and Technical Education (DCTE) had been extended until February 16 in response to the hijab debate.
During the pendency of all applications pertaining to hijab, the Karnataka High Court issued an interim order requiring the state government to reopen educational institutions and all students to wear saffron shawls, scarves, hijab, and any religious flag inside the classroom.
The school staff, according to the report, refused to accept female students who arrived at school wearing hijab. There was also a disagreement about this between the staff and the parents of the female students. Before entering the classroom, the instructor of the Rotary School in Mandya asked the female students to remove their hijab. This drew the ire of some parents. At the same time, some people suggested that girls should be permitted to wear hijabs to school and then remove them in class, but that they should not be allowed inside.