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Hijab Row: Why Bangles and cross are allowed-petitioners’ counsel

Karnataka’s Hijab row hearing resumed in the High Court on Wednesday, with the Chief Justice hearing arguments from Muslim girls who have challenged restrictions on wearing the religious headscarves in classrooms. Advocate Ravi Varma Kumar is arguing on behalf of the petitioners.

To begin with, Senior Advocate Professor Ravivarma Kumar questioned: Why is govt picking on hijab alone…Hindu girls wearing bangles and Christian girls wearing cross are not sent out.

He further added: No other religious symbol is considered in the Govt Order. Why only hijab? Is it not because of their religion? Discrimination against Muslim girls is purely based on religion.

Sr Adv. Prof Ravivarma refered to Karnataka Education Act and said: Rule says when educational institution intends to change uniform, it has to issue notice one yr in advance to parents; if ban on Hijab, it should inform one yr in advance.

He further argues: There are no provisions under the Act (Karnataka Education Act) nor rules of ban on wearing Hijab.

Further, Senior Advocate Professor Ravivarma Kumar says that there is no prohibition against Hijab and the question arises that under what authority or rules I (students) have been kept out of the class.

The Senior Advocate further stated: College Development Committee cannot have police power over students.

It is then that the Karnataka High Court asked him – You say that the College Development Committee has no power to prescribe the uniform.

To which Senior Advocate Professor Ravivarma Kumar answered: An MLA (who is also the president of the Committee) will be representing a political party or a political ideology and can you entrust the welfare of the students to a political party or a political ideology?

He further added that the constitution of a committee of this nature gives a death blow to our democracy.

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