Home » Lawyers’ body issues notice to K’taka edu minister over hijab remarks

Lawyers’ body issues notice to K’taka edu minister over hijab remarks

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The All-India Lawyers’ Association For Justice, an organisation of lawyers and law students, has issued a legal notice to Karnataka primary and secondary education minister BC Nagesh for his alleged misleading statements over the Karnataka High Court’s order on the uniform rules and wearing of hijab.

The legal notice was referring to a statement made by the minister on March 28, in which he claimed that students will not be allowed to wear hijabs while writing the ongoing class 10 examinations. The notice said the minister’s statement contradicts the Government Order (GO) of March 25 that said uniforms that are fixed by the government or private schools are to be worn.

As per the March 25 order, if a school or college allows wearing hijab, those students can wear them during the examinations. However, Nagesh had said hijabs will not be allowed in any examination halls and students in hijabs will not be allowed to enter the exam hall.

“The judgment did not impose a blanket ban on hijab. The judgement upheld the G.O. dated 05.02.2022, which specified that any uniform that had been fixed by the government or a private school in accordance with the law has to be adhered to,” the legal notice stated.

“Additionally, the judgment is restricted to the classroom, and the Hon’ble High Court has specifically clarified that it hardly needs to be stated that ‘this does not rob off the autonomy of women or their right to education inasmuch as they can wear any apparel of their choice outside the classroom’,” the statement added.

“Your irresponsible and misleading statements have resulted in massive and unwarranted repercussions,” read the legal notice, which pointed out that in Gadag, seven teachers were suspended on March 29, for allowing students wearing the hijab to attend their SSLC exams.

“In fact, the deputy director of public instruction is reported as having stated that ‘these teachers had allowed girl students to wear the hijab while writing exams on Monday. As it was a violation of the high court order, we have suspended them.’ This is a misinterpretation of the G.O as well as the Order of the Hon’ble High Court, which has caused great prejudice to the minor Muslim girls seeking to pursue their fundamental right to education. Your statements go beyond the scope of the orders in question and have resulted in a violation of rights of Muslim girl children,” stated the notice.

The organisation has asked the minister to immediately withdraw his statements as they “fall foul of the judgment of the Karnataka High Court, as well as the relevant government orders”.

Responding to questions from HT, the minister’s office said it was yet to receive the notice.

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