No religious attire while awaiting case: Karnataka High Court

New Delhi: A three-judge bench of the Karnataka High Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing of petitions on the hijab issue until February 14. The court said it would pass an order ordering the reopening of colleges while asking students not to insist on wearing religious items until they are disposed of. of the material. The judges said peace and tranquility must be restored to the state. Later, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said schools and colleges would be reopened in a phased manner in the state.

The bench, consisting of Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S. Dixit and Justice JM Khazi, which is hearing petitions challenging the state government’s rule on dress code in schools , made no interim order. The court asked the media to refrain from reporting oral submissions and wait for the final order.

“We are ready to settle the matter as soon as possible. But we believe that peace and quiet must be restored. Until the ruling, you should not insist on wearing those religious clothes which are not auspicious,” Chief Justice Awasthi said.

However, attorneys for the petitioners have raised objections to the interim restriction. “It will amount to the suspension of our rights… We are told to choose between food and water and both are essential,” objected lead attorney Devadatt Kamath, representing the petitioners. While saying it is a matter of days, the Chief Justice asked the petitioners to cooperate. To this, lead attorney Sanjay Hegde said, “For a few days we cannot be asked to suspend our faith.”

While pleading for the petitioners, Mr Hedge, while quoting the Karnataka Educational Institutions Rules 1995, said: ‘There is no provision for a sanction for breach of a uniform code. In the Education Act of Karnataka, punishments largely relate to management. »

The hijab issue also reached the Supreme Court on Thursday, but the top court declined to intervene, saying Karnataka HC was already hearing the case.

Meanwhile, after the court order, Karnataka CM said, “The last two days have been very peaceful. A three-member bench today, while adjourning the matter for Monday, called on all schools to reopen, but no religious dress code should be followed on either side. I call on everyone to work together and ensure that there is peace in the colleges. Schools will reopen from Monday for grades up to 10th standard. University colleges will reopen later. In the second stage, we will decide whether to reopen 11th-12th grades and other university colleges depending on the situation.

Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said the police had been tasked with ensuring law and order while maintaining extreme restraint in their dealings with students. “Students should not fall prey to communal elements who are bent on using the hijab issue as a tool to disrupt communal harmony,” he added.

Meanwhile, political statements and protests over the hijab issue continued. Delhi police on Thursday arrested AISA workers marching towards Karnataka Bhawan to protest against the state government’s rule on dress code in schools. Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil has called on political parties not to stage protests or disturb the peace for political gains on the hijab line. The minister said it was “not appropriate” to hold protests in Maharashtra over any issue with roots in another state.

“We must avoid incidents that could further divide society. It is unfortunate that some people try to take political advantage of this. Indian culture and the Constitution do not teach us to divide people according to castes and religions. Our country is a secular country and we should behave accordingly,” Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said.

Telangana Rashtra Samiti MLC K. Kavitha said no one should interfere in people’s personal choice. “Such religious discourse hampers opportunities for female students. Let’s keep politics out of schools and colleges. I am a married woman, I wear vermilion when I want. It’s a choice. As a society, we have no right to interfere in their personal choice.

However, BJP General Secretary CT Ravi had a different view. “Uniforms must be worn in schools. You are free to wear whatever you want outside of school. Priyanka Gandhi said that women can wear a bikini but you can’t go to school or university in a bikini. It’s not good to play politics in schools.

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