The statement was made during a hearing before a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia on various petitions filed in response to the Karnataka High Court’s decision upholding the hijab ban in educational institutions.
The Supreme Court of India ruled on Thursday (September 8) that Sikhs may wear a turban and kirpan. The five-judge panel stated that the turban and kirpan of Sikhs are not comparable to the hijab of Muslims. According to NDTV, the statement came during a hearing before a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia on various petitions filed challenging the Karnataka High Court verdict upholding the hijab ban in educational institutions.
One of the petitioners, a student of Islam and Arabic, was represented by Advocate Nizamuddin Pasha, who attempted to draw parallels between the turban and kirpan and the hijab. Pasha argued that the headscarf is part of Muslim women’s religious practise and asked if women can be barred from attending school while wearing a hijab. He went on to say that even Sikh students wear turbans. He emphasised the importance of preserving cultural practises.
The comparison with Sikhs, according to Justice Gupta, is not appropriate because carrying the kirpan is recognised by the Indian Constitution. “So don’t compare practises,” he said, adding that there are statutory requirements for turbans, all of which are well established in Indian culture.
In response to the Karnataka High Court (HC) decision, Advocate Nizamuddin Pasha stated that the hijab or headscarf protects Muslim girls. Anuncios Pasha argued that the Karnataka High Court’s finding that the hijab is a cultural practise is based on an assumption, and he cited various religious books to back up his claims. He also claimed that the state HC’s decision that the hijab is a “recommendation” rather than a “essential” was based on a misreading of the footnote.