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Karnataka Hijab Ban: Supreme Court To Set Up Bench To Hear Muslim Students' Plea

Previously, on January 23, the CJI had agreed to consider the request for urgent listing, after Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora mentioned the urgency of the situation considering the upcoming examinations

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A Supreme Court bench had delivered a split verdict on the Karnataka Hijab row
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The Supreme Court said that it will set up a three-judge bench to hear a plea of Muslim girl students to sit for examinations in Karnataka government schools while wearing hijab. The court however, did not specify the date. The examinations in Pre-University colleges in the state are scheduled to begin from March 9. 

A lawyer, Shadan Farasat, appearing on behalf of the students sought urgent hearing of the plea stating that girls are on the verge of losing another academic year as the exams are being held in government schools which are not permitting wearing of headscarf. "I will create a bench,” said a bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala said.

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The CJI initially said the matter will be listed for hearing after Holi vacations. However, the lawyer informed about the upcoming exams scheduled in the next five days and said that, “They have missed one year. They will miss another year.”

On being told by the bench that the matter has been mentioned on the last day before the vacation, the lawyer said it has been mentioned twice earlier. Without specifying the date, the bench then said it will create the bench.

Earlier, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court gave a split verdict on the petitions challenging the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-run Karnataka's ban on girls and women wearing hijab —an Islamic head covering— in classrooms. 

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A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandarchud and Justices V Ramasubramanian and JB Pardiwala took note of the submissions of Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora that an interim order was needed keeping in mind the practical examinations scheduled for some classes from February 6 in Karnataka.  

Previously, on January 23, the CJI had agreed to consider the request for urgent listing, after Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora mentioned the urgency of the situation considering the upcoming examinations. The CJI had then assured that he would take a call on this. This year, the PUC 2023 exams in the state will be held from March 9 to March 29, 2023. 

(With PTI inputs)

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