A fresh plea was filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday on the hijab row in Karnataka, raising the issue of the right to practice religion as enshrined as a fundamental right in the Constitution.
The plea filed by Youth Congress president B V Srinivas and a journalism student contended that there is a direct infringement of fundamental rights and, also as events are happening in multiple states and likely to spread further, it would be better and proper that the apex court takes cognisance of the issue. The plea said that different high courts in different states may pass conflicting orders.
"Everyone has the right to wear clothes/ headgear of their choice and practice their religion, its customs and traditions. If a small girl child is seen wearing a “Hijab”, it can be 'not out of her own choice' but for older and adult girls and women wherein it is their choice, the right must be protected. Belief in religion is one thing, but religious fanaticism is another facet altogether.
"The consequences of religious bigotry will not be right, no matter with what religion this bigotry is associated with. At least the schools, colleges and educational institutions should not be made the battleground for the fight against religious fanaticism," said the plea filed through advocates Roopesh Singh Bhadauria and Mareesh Pravir Sahay.
It said the dispute related to whether the “Hijab” or headscarf is an integral part of Islam or not can end only after consideration of the top court and on the issue of a uniform dress code for educational institutions.
"Also, any individual's fundamental rights and Constitutional rights on this aspect need to be considered and upheld which include wearing a “Hijab” or a head scarf. The Muslim girls and women must be given right to choose and right to wear a “Hijab” if they choose so, as their fundamental right," the plea said.
Earlier in the day, senior advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned a plea on hijab row before a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana and said the problem is that schools and colleges are closed.
"Girls are being stoned. It's spreading across the country," he said. The apex court said it would consider a submission seeking the listing of a plea for transferring a case on the hijab' row from the Karnataka High Court to itself. The top court said that the high court is seized the case and should be allowed to continue with the hearing and also decide it.
With PTI inputs.