Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia heard a batch of petitions challenging the ban on wearing Hijab in educational institutions in Karnataka on Monday.
Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde started the main arguments and stated that it was wrong to tell grown up women, that they would have no control over their own concept of modesty. Thus, women could not be told what they can or cannot wear. Justice Hemant Gupta retorted his line of argumentation and stated that different places required different dress codes. While doing so, he gave examples of advocates being barred from wearing jeans while arguing in court, specific dress code being required on a Golf Course, some restaurants having a formal dress code etc.
Senior Advocate Hegde continued his line of argument and stated that parallels could not be drawn between these instances as everything came down to the context. He said that–
“Everything comes down to context. Today, the context is access to education in a government college. A government is funded by everyone.”
However, Justice Gupta was quick to reply that Government is not funded by everyone, as only 4% people pay income tax.
“No, sorry, only 4% pay income tax”, Justice Gupta said.
“Direct tax, yes. But everyone pays indirect tax. I don’t want to join issue here.”
The SLPs has been filed against the judgment dated March 15 passed by the High Court of Karnataka, upholding Government Order dated 05.02.2022, which has effectively prohibited Petitioners, and other such female Muslim students from wearing the headscarf in their Pre-University Colleges. A batch of 23 petitions was listed before the bench.
Some of them are writ petitions filed directly before the Supreme Court seeking the right to wear hijab for Muslim girl students. Some others are special leave petitions which challenge the judgment of the Karnataka High Court dated March 15 which upheld the hijab ban.
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