The supreme court on Thursday delivered a split verdict in the Hijab row case, with one of the judges upholding the Karnataka High Court’s order in the matter.
One of the judges hearing the case, Justice Hemant Gupta dismissed 26 appeals filed against the judgement passed by the Karnataka High Court which concluded that hijab was not essential practice while the other judge, justice Sudhanshu Dhulia begged to differ.
Since the two judges differ in their opinion, the Hijab case will now be placed before the chief justice of India who will decide a future course of action.
At the apex court, justice Gupta, who sought to uphold the Karnataka High Court’s verdict said that he had 11 questions which were thought over, including whether the Sabarimala case which is long pending before a nine-judge bench must be heard alongside.
Questions also pertained to the issue of violation of the Article 25 of Indian constitution and whether college managements had the authority to decide uniform for students. Whether the state’s order meets the test of reasonableness under Articles 19 and 14, or whether it compromises the constitutional promise of dignity and fraternity was another factor, justice Gupta said.
Justice Dhulia, however, sought to quash the government order which allows educational institutions’ management to decide on a dress code and opined, “The court probably took the wrong path. It was simply a question of Article 19(1)(a), its applicability and Article 25(1), primarily. And it’s ultimately a matter of her choice, nothing more nothing less.”
He said that it was the rights of a girl child which was a primary issue while considering this judgement. Justice Dhulia said that the challenges faced by a girl child in a rural setup must also be taken into consideration while delivering the judgement.
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