Day 12 Hearing: Hijab Ban (Karnataka HC) (Part II)

Hijab Ban in Karnataka Educational Institutions

Part I examined the rejoinders of Senior Advocates Yusuf Mucchala and Ravivarma Kumar.

Advocate Subhash Jha requested the Court to order the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct an inquiry into the agitations by Muslim students in Karnataka. He claimed that these agitations were spurred by fundamentalist Islamic organisations receiving funds from Saudi Arabia. Mr. Jha claimed that the agitation could not have been fomented overnight. The Chief Justice interrupted Mr. Jha, saying that the Court could not proceed on the basis of presumptions. However, the Bench said that they would take Mr. Jha’s submissions into consideration.

Advocate Mohammad Tahir appearing for Muslim students raised the possibility that the documents showing the resolutions passed the CDCs may be forged.

Mr. Tahir then urged the Court to interrogate if secular institutions were truly secular. For instance, a Madras High Court judgment on the performance of Saraswati and Ayudha pujas in government offices held that religious activities are permitted in a secular state.

Advancing a new argument in the case, Mr. Tahir said that the ban was a form of indirect discrimination against Muslim girls. The Bench however stated that since this was a novel argument, it could not be made in the rejoinder.

After eleven continuous days of hearings, the Bench rose for the last time. The Judgment in this case is likely to impact thousands of Muslim students studying in Government educational institutions in Karnataka.