'Will interfere at right time': Supreme Court on hijab row
The Supreme Court of India on Friday refused to urgently hear petitions over the hijab controversy in Karnataka. Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana said the top court would interfere only when it is appropriate to do so. In an interim order, the Karnataka High Court has banned hijab or any other religious attire in schools and colleges across the southern state.
- The Supreme Court's comments come as protests over religious clothing intensify and spill over to several states across the country.
- The row, which began at a government college in Udupi several weeks ago, has catapulted into a larger debate of freedom of religion and clothing choice.
- It has also reignited calls for a uniform civil code—a proposed umbrella law applicable to all religious communities.
"I do not want to express anything. Don't take it on a larger level. We also know what's happening in the state and the hearing and you also have to think over whether it's proper to bring it to Delhi," CJI Ramana said, according to Live Law. "We will interfere only at an appropriate time," the CJI added.
A woman from Karnataka had approached the Supreme Court against the high court's order. She argued the HC order was in violation of the Indian Constitution as wearing the hijab is within the guaranteed rights of expression and privacy. "Any interference on students' access to educational institutions will impede their education," she said adding practical exams are due to begin in a few days.
On Thursday, the Karnataka High Court issued an interim order restraining students from wearing any religious clothing inside schools and colleges until the matter is resolved. It was passed by a bench comprising High Court Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices KS Dixit and JM Khazi The court will continue hearing on the matter on Monday, February 14.
Meanwhile, parents of six Muslim girls in Karnataka have filed a complaint with the police, alleging personal details of their children were shared on social media. They have submitted the complaint to Udupi district's Superintendent of Police N Vishnuvardhan. Vishnuvardhan said the police has sought documentary evidence regarding the allegations and assured that appropriate action will be taken.