A girl child has the right to wear a hijab in her house or outside; and that right does not stop at her school gate, Supreme Court Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia declared. The child carries her dignity and her privacy even when she is inside the school gates, in her classroom. She retains her fundamental rights. To say that these rights become derivative rights inside a classroom is wholly incorrect,” he said.
In his separate judgement, Justice Dhulia allowed appeals against the Karnataka High Court’s March 15 judgement; which upheld the ban on hijab in classrooms of the government’s Pre University Colleges. All the petitioners (girl students) want is to wear a hijab! Is it too much to ask in a democracy? How is it against public order, morality or health or even decency or against any other provision of Part III of the Constitution? These questions have not been sufficiently answered in the High Court judgement,” he said.
If a Muslim student wants to wear hijab, even inside her classroom, she cannot be stopped.
Justice Dhulia said there shall be no restriction on the wearing of hijab anywhere in schools and colleges in Karnataka. Under our Constitutional scheme, wearing a hijab should be simply a matter of Choice. It may or may not be a matter of essential religious practice, but it still is, a matter of conscience, belief, and expression,” he said. “If she (a Muslim student) wants to wear hijab, even inside her classroom, she cannot be stopped. If it is worn as a matter of her choice, as it may be the only way her conservative family will permit her to go to school; and in those cases, her hijab is her ticket to education,” he added.