Last updated: September 16, 2022, 12:49 PM IST
The Supreme Court on Friday declined to consider a PIL seeking directions from the Center, states and union territories to implement a common dress code for staff members and students in registered educational institutions. A bench of Judges Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia said this is not a case that should come to court for arbitration.
The PIL argued that a dress code should be introduced to ensure equality and promote brotherhood and national integration. Senior advocate Gaurav Bhatia, who appeared before PIL petitioner Nikhil Upadhyay, said this is a constitutional issue and sought direction under the Right to Education Act. Counsel saw the bank’s unwillingness to entertain the PIL and withdrew it. The plea was made in the background of the Karnataka ‘hijab’ row.
The same bench, headed by Judge Gupta, hears arguments over a series of pleadings challenging the Karnataka Supreme Court ruling refusing to lift the ban on hijab in educational institutions in the state. Filed through attorneys Ashwini Upadhyay and Ashwani Dubey, the PIL had requested the Center to establish a judicial commission or panel of experts to propose steps to inculcate values of social and economic justice, socialism, secularism and democracy. and to fraternity dignity unity and national integration among the students.
Alternatively, as guardian of the constitution and protector of fundamental rights, the Law Commission of India must prepare a report within three months suggesting steps to ensure social equality and promote brotherhood, dignity, unity and national integration, it said. Educational institutions are secular public places and are intended to provide knowledge and wisdom, employment, good health and contribute to nation building, not to follow essential and non-essential religious practices, it said. It is very essential to introduce a common dress code in all schools-universities in order to maintain the secular nature of educational institutions, otherwise Naga Sadhus may be admitted to college tomorrow and attend class without clothes evoking essential religious practices, argued the PILL.
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