Karnataka hijab ban: State linked PFI to case to prejudice case, SC informed

Muslim appellants who’ve challenged the Karnataka hijab ban earlier than Supreme Court on Thursday objected to the state authorities linking protests over the problem to the Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) and claimed that it was being executed to prejudice their case.

The bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia accomplished the listening to of arguments and reserved its verdict on Thursday.

“I regret to say that the Solicitor General raised that issue,” senior advocate Dushyant Dave, showing for a few of the appellants, informed the courtroom. “It is not an issue which is relevant at all for the purpose of determination here. I further regret to say that he (S-G Tushar Mehta) having raised it, the entire media picked it up.”

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi additionally took exception to the State invoking PFI’s identify and stated this was not pleaded earlier than the High Court, and isn’t there within the round.

The bench stated that “the High Court deals with it”. Ahmadi responded that it was solely “one line”.

Pointing out that the State had consciously not filed a rejoinder earlier than SC, he argued, “If they want to rely on something, they cannot do it orally. First they consciously said they don’t want to file a counter….now the attempt is to bring in facts which are not part of the record at all before the court…by saying there is an overarching conspiracy.”

Stating that there was “nothing in the circular with regard to PFI”, Ahmadi stated the argument is being “sought to be introduced only…to prejudice”.

Their reference was to Mehta’s submissions that the protests over restrictions on carrying of hijab have been “not spontaneous” however have been “part of a larger conspiracy”. He had stated that “at least from 2013, nobody was deviating from the prescribed uniform, which did not include hijab”.

He submitted that “in 2022, a movement started on social media by an organisation called the Popular Front of India and the movement — as the FIR which was lodged subsequently suggested — was designed to create a kind of an agitation based on religious feelings of the people, and as a part, there were continuous social media messages — (to) start wearing hijab…”

Dave sought to hyperlink it to feedback on Wednesday by an SC bench headed by Justice Ok M Joseph about alleged hate speech via visible media.

He stated that “Justice Joseph‘s bench yesterday rightly remarked…they have now started hearing a matter as to how media is used by political parties to spread hatred in the country”. He said that after Mehta’s remarks, “electronic media, print media, everybody…the headline was Popular Front of India, although it is not part of the arguments at all”.

Justice Gupta identified that Mehta had stated this within the context of explaining the background.

Dave stated the state authorities’s “circular” underneath problem “doesn’t refer to that”. He added, “You can’t bring something outside the circular. That’s completely wrong.”

Dave additionally sought to query the state authorities over an earlier round, which he identified had stated that uniform isn’t obligatory.

Countering the state authorities’s submission that the doc is unsubstantiated, he stated it was talked about within the counter-affidavit filed earlier than HC. “Solicitor General said it’s an unsubstantiated document. My submission is that it is substantiated by their own admission before High Court. How do you disown your own guidelines by saying this? You have issued it consciously,” Dave stated.

The bench identified that the following round will “supersede” the sooner one.

Not agreeing, Dave stated the sooner round mentions carrying of uniform isn’t obligatory and argued that “there is no question of it superseding the earlier guidelines”.

But Justice Dhulia stated “it does”, and added that “the February 5 Government Order takes care of this also by saying that in the event the management [of the educational institution] does not mandate a uniform, students should wear clothes that are in the interest of unity, equality and public order”.

Countering Dave’s arguments, Additional Solicitor General Ok M Nataraj additionally stated the rules “do not confer any kind of right on anybody. These are just guidelines. That cannot supersede any statutory notification…”

The courtroom requested Dave if it was his case that there was no uniform prescribed for college students for the tutorial yr 2021-22. The senior counsel responded, “It’s not our case. Our case is that hijab was never objected to.”

Dave stated, “The whole argument (of the State) so far as religious practice is concerned is that the Quran does not say you must compulsorily wear…that acknowledges the fact that the Quran does refer to the wearing of a hijab.”

He contended that the Essential Religious Practice (ERP) take a look at isn’t the best means of trying on the subject. The bench, nonetheless, reminded that the petitioners themselves had raised the problem earlier than HC, and even sought a mandamus to declare it an ERP.

Dave stated, “They say it’s not compulsory. I submit it’s not necessary…. Those who are believers, for them it’s essential. Those who are not believers, it’s not essential…. Every religion has some people who are very strongly religious. Some people go to the extent of being fanatics. Some people are tolerant…”

The State had earlier argued that like triple talaq or the best to animal sacrifice, the best to put on hijab can also be not a basic proper.

On this, senior advocate Salman Khurshid stated, “There is nothing in the Quran that says a particular animal must be sacrificed.”

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The bench identified that “there is an option. If seven people, you can kill a cow or a camel. If single person, a goat.”

Khurshid additionally stated that the judgment of one of many judges on the SC bench that declared prompt triple talaq unconstitutional “clearly says that the Quran does not provide for triple talaq”. Whatever is there was an exception, he added.

The bench requested why then was it argued earlier than the triple talaq bench that it’s an ERP.

“Some people argued. I was amicus and said it does not exist in Islam”, stated Khurshid.

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