SC delivers split verdict, matter to be placed before CJI Lalit


New Delhi: The Supreme Court, on Thursday, delivered a split verdict in the Karnataka hijab ban case with one of the judges upholding the March 15 high court order validating the ban and the other setting aside the HC ruling and calling wearing the hijab a ‘matter of choice.

The two judge-bench divided in their view; hence, the matter was directed to be placed before the Chief Justice of India Uday Umesh Lalit for appropriate directions.

Justice Gupta who stated his opinion first said: “there is a divergence of opinion.” “Whether hijab is considered to be essential religious practice, can a student seek to wear it to school as a matter of right and whether the state government order is contrary to the legitimate state interest of promoting literacy and education under the Constitution, he added.

Justice Dhulia reading out his opinion said he has a “different view” and set aside the Karnataka High Court judgement and quashed the government order of February 5, 2022, by which college management committees were empowered to decide on the issue.

The court had also upheld an order issued on February 5 by the Karnataka Government, which suggested that wearing hijabs can be restricted in government colleges where uniforms are prescribed and ruled that such curbs under norms for college uniforms are “Constitutionally permissible”.

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