India Apex Court Justices Divided On Hijab Ban In Classrooms
India’s supreme court has failed to deliver a verdict on whether Muslim students can wear the hijab in schools and colleges, with two judges expressing opposing views.
One judge upheld a Karnataka high court order from march that said the hijab was not “essential” to Islam.
The other said the high court order was erroneous and wearing the hijab was a matter of choice.
The verdict was expected to cap a 10-month-long polarising debate in India.
But Thursday’s development means the debate over the hijab will continue to consume the Indian public and the judiciary – as the judges could not agree on a decision.
They have now requested the chief justice of India to recommend it to a larger bench.
The row began at the start of the year in the Southern state of Karnataka when a government college in Udupi district barred six Muslim girls from wearing the hijab in class.
The college said it had only asked the students to remove the hijab inside the classroom – they could still wear it around the campus.
But the girls, who wore the college uniform – a loose tunic with trousers and a shawl – said they should also be allowed to cover their hair in the classroom as they had “a few male teachers”.