Don't compare Turban, Kirpan with Hijab: Supreme Court

By Shgun S -- September 08, 2022 6:47 pm -- Updated:September 08, 2022 6:47 pm

New Delhi, September 8: A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday stated that there is no comparison between the Kirpan and turban of Sikhs with the hijab and held that wearing a turban and kirpan is allowed for Sikhs.

The apex court made the remarks when a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia heard various petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court judgement upholding the ban on hijab in educational institutes.

Advocate Nizamuddin Pasha, who represented one of the petitioners, a student of Islam and Arabic, tried to draw parallels between the Kirpan and turban and the hijab.

Pasha stated that the hijab is a religious practice for Muslim girls and asked if girls wearing hijab can be barred from attending school. He also claimed that turbans are worn by Sikh students.

Pasha emphasised the importance of protecting cultural practices.

During the hearing, Justice Gupta said that comparison with Sikhs may not be proper as carrying of the kirpan is recognized by the Constitution. "So don't compare practices," the court said.

Justice Gupta further stated that there are statutory requirements on turbans and these are all practices well established in the culture of the country.

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Pasha also tried to cite examples of foreign countries like France.

Justice Gupta however said that 'we do not want to be according to France or Austria.'

"We are Indians and want to be in India," the SC said.

Countering the Karnataka HC judgement, Pasha said that the hijab protects Muslim women. He challenged the findings of Karnataka HC that the Hijab is a cultural practice based on the assumption and cited various religious books to support his arguments.

The advocate also argued that it was a misreading of the footnote that the HC held that the Hijab is a "recommendation" and not "essential".

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-PTC News

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