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HomeBreaking NewsDon't Compare Sikh Turban, Kirpan With Hijab, Says Supreme Court: Report

Don’t Compare Sikh Turban, Kirpan With Hijab, Says Supreme Court: Report

The Supreme Court heard several petitions against the judgment of the Karnataka High Court.

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court said on Thursday that there is no comparison between Kirpan and Sikhs’ turbans with the hijab, as a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled that wearing a turban and kirpan is allowed for Sikhs.

The comments came as a bench of Judges Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia heard several petitions challenging the Karnataka Supreme Court decision upholding the ban on hijab in educational institutions, according to news agency ANI.

Lawyer Nizamuddin Pasha, who appeared before one of the petitioners, who studies Islam and Arabic, tried to draw similarities between the kirpan and the turban with the hijab.

Mr Pasha said the hijab is part of the religious practice of Muslim girls and also asked if girls could not be taken to school to wear a hijab. He further argued that even Sikh students wear turbans.

Mr Pasha stressed the need to protect cultural practices.

Justice Gupta said comparison with Sikhs may not be accurate as wearing the kirpan is recognized by the constitution. “So don’t compare practices,” the court noted.

Justice Gupta said there are legal requirements for turbans and these are all practices well established in the country’s culture.

Mr Pasha tries to cite examples from abroad, such as France.

Justice Gupta said we don’t want to be according to France or Austria. “We are Indians and want to be in India,” the court said.

Pasha said against the Karnataka Supreme Court ruling that the hijab protects Muslim women.

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Pasha said the Karnataka High Court’s findings that the Hijab is a cultural practice is based on the assumption. He cited several religious books to support his arguments.

He also argued that it was a misreading of the footnote that the HC believed that the hijab is a “recommendation” and not “essential”.

Senior advocate Devadatt Kamat said any religious practice is not essential, but it’s not like the state continues to restrict it.

During the hearing, Mr Kamat, who appeared before another petitioner, informed the court that the Supreme Court judgments of Karnataka, Kerala and Madras took different views on whether the hijab is an essential religious practice. The courts of Madras and Kerala have considered hijab an essential religious practice, but the Karnataka Supreme Court was different, Mr Kamat said.

“Karnataka government decision on prescribing uniforms in educational institutions suffers from non-application of spirit,” he added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)

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