None can insist on hijab if school uniform doesn’t allow it: Law panel chief24th June 2023
NEW DELHI: Ritu Raj Awasthi, the 22nd Law Commission Chairman, recently told a media outlet the Karnataka High Court had ruled that one cannot insist on wearing hijab if the school uniform does not allow it. Awasthi was a part of the Karnataka HC bench that upheld the controversial government order last year banning students from wearing hijab in educational institutions of the state.
The main argument of the Muslim girl students was that wearing a hijab is a part of the essential religious practice of Islam. “We said that if the uniform of a school does not allow hijab, you cannot insist on it. We looked at the history and the context of the introduction of uniforms in detail. We found that if you wear an attire different from the uniform, you identify that group as being different from others and it beats the point of uniform,” he said.
“Therefore, you cannot insist on wearing something that gives you a separate identity as it will fail the purpose of a uniform, the purpose of which is uniformity,” he said. Awasthi refused to comment on the views put forth by SC judge Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia who opined that the HC had not examined the manner in which hijab was against public order or morality, the judge said, while delivering the verdict did not feel any pressure.
In the same interview, the former judge spoke on the recent report by the Law Commission that recommended the retention of 153-year-old colonial law on sedition in India. He said the recommendations were made by the Commission on three points: the Commission first attempted to adopt the rationale presented by the SC in the Kedarnath ruling, second it suggested a procedural safeguard to avoid its misuse and third, “a large gap of up to three years or life imprisonment” was “unreasonable.”
The Law Commission had made recommendations on three points: one, it first attempted to adopt the rationale presented by the SC in the Kedarnath ruling, second, it suggested a procedural safeguard to avoid its misuse and third, “a large gap of up to three years or life imprisonment” was “unreasonable.”