‘Can you practice religion in schools with uniform?’ asks Supreme Court

A person has a right to practise religion but the question is whether it can be taken to a school having a prescribed uniform, the Supreme Court observed on Monday while hearing the case pertaining to Hijab ban in Karnataka’s educational institutions.

Hearing arguments on a batch of pleas challenging the Karnataka High Court verdict refusing to lift the ban on hijab in educational institutions of the state, the Supreme Court asked whether a student can wear hijab to a school where a uniform has been prescribed.

“You may have a religious right to practise whatever you want to practise. But can you practise and take that right to a school which has uniform as a part of dress you have to wear? That will be the question,” said a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia.

The Supreme Court posed the question to senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, who was arguing for some of the petitioners.

On the argument that the hijab ban may deny education to women, the bench noted the state is not saying it is denying any right. “What the state is saying is that you come in a uniform which is prescribed for the students….,” it said.