The Karnataka government on Friday contended before the High Court that the hijab is not an essential religious practice of Islam and preventing its use did not violate Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees religious freedom.
Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi said that government has taken a stand that wearing hijab is not an essential practice under Islam.
Advocate Navadgi said, “My first submission is that the order is in consonance with the Education Act. Second is the more substantive argument that hijab is an essential part. We have taken the stand that wearing of hijab does not fall within the essential religious practice of Islam. Third is that right to wear hijab can be traced to Article 19 (1) (a). Submission is that it does not do so.”
The AG also rejected the charge of some Muslim girls, who challenged the Karnataka government’s order on February 5 that barred students from wearing hijab or saffron scarves saying that it violated Article 25 of the Constitution.
The Advocate General also contended that the February 5 order of the state government was in accordance with the law and there was nothing to object in it.
The High Court, in its interim order pending consideration of all petitions related to the hijab row, last week restrained all the students from wearing saffron shawls, scarves, hijab and any religious garments within the classroom.