The Karnataka High Court today stated that wearing the headscarf in class is not an essential religious practice, in a major setback to students who had challenged the ban. The ban was challenged in court by five petitions.
The state government had prohibited big gatherings for a week in Bengaluru ahead of the order “to ensure public peace and order.” From March 15 to 19, Mangalore, too, prohibited mass gatherings. Udupi’s schools and colleges are closed today.
Last month, the Karnataka High Court temporarily banned religious clothing, including the hijab and saffron scarves, when the controversy erupted into rallies and a clash between various student groups.
The petitioners, which included a dozen Muslim students, said that wearing the headscarf constituted a fundamental right protected by India’s constitution and an important Islamic practice. The High Court reserved its judgment on February 25 after eleven days of hearing.