Country stands split, so does Supreme Court?: Former Union secretary Anil Swarup takes sly dig at SC after split verdict on hijab matter

The Supreme Court of India delivered a split verdict stating it a ‘divergence of opinion’ on petitions challenging the March 15 Karnataka High Court verdict on the hijab matter. The Karnataka High Court had dismissed a batch of pleas filed by Muslim girls studying in Udupi’s pre-university colleges seeking the right to wear hijab in classrooms.

Before placing the appeals before the Chief Justice of India for the constitution of the larger bench, Justice Hemant Gupta dismissed the appeals challenging the Karnataka High Court order, while Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia allowed them. Justice Dhulia said that the Karnataka High Court had taken a wrong decision as wearing a hijab is ultimately a matter of choice, nothing more or less.

“The main thrust of my judgement is the entire concept of essential religious practice was not essential to the dispute. The High Court took a wrong path,” said Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia. Meanwhile, Former Union secretary Anil Swarup has taken a sly dig at the apex court on Twitter as he wrote, “Country stands split….. so does Supreme Court??”

Earlier on March 15, the Karnataka High Court had dismissed the petitions filed by a section of Muslim students of the Government Pre-University Girls College in Karanataka’s Udupi seeking permission to wear the hijab inside classrooms, ruling it is not a part of the essential religious practice in the Islamic faith.

The Chief Justice of India will likely refer the case to a larger bench. However, this is not the first time that Justice Gupta and Justice Dhulia have opined differently. In August, in a case about the use of the Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru’s Chamarajpet for Ganesh Chaturthi, both the senior Justices had contrasting opinions.

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