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Karnataka hijab ban: SC to set up bench to hear plea of Muslim girls for nod to take exam in headscarf

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday said it will set up a three-judge bench to hear a plea of Muslim girl students to sit for examinations in Karnataka government schools while wearing hijab.

“I will create a bench,” said a bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala when a woman lawyer sought urgent hearing of the plea saying girls are on the verge of losing another academic year as the exams are being held in government schools which are not permitting wearing of headscarf.

Initially, the CJI said the matter will be listed for hearing after Holi vacations.

The examinations are scheduled to be held after five days, the lawyer said, adding, “They have missed one year. They will miss another year.” On being told by the bench that the matter has been mentioned on the last day before the vacation, the lawyer said it has been mentioned twice earlier.

Without specifying the date, the bench then said it will create the bench.

The matter was last mentioned for urgent hearing by lawyer Shadan Farasat on behalf of the students.

The court had said it will take a call on listing a plea for allowing Muslim girl students to sit for examinations in Karnataka government schools while wearing hijab.

Following the apex court’s split verdict on the issue of ban on sporting the Islamic headscarf in educational institutions in Karnataka, girls in hijab are not being permitted to take the exams scheduled to begin from March 9, the bench was told.

On March 15, 2022, the high court had dismissed the petitions filed by a section of Muslim students of the Government Pre-University Girls College in Karnataka’s Udupi seeking permission to wear the hijab inside classrooms, ruling it is not a part of the essential religious practice in the Islamic faith.


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