SC to consider listing plea on Karnataka hijab row

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Photo: PTI

New Delhi:The Supreme Court Thursday said it would consider a submission seeking the listing of a plea for transferring a case on the ‘hijab' row from the Karnataka High Court to itself.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said the high court is seized of the case and should be allowed to continue with the hearing as also decide it.

Seeking transfer of the case and hearing by a nine-judge bench at the apex court, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said, “The problem is that schools and colleges are closed. Girls are being stoned. It's spreading across the country.”

After being told by Sibal that he did not want any order and only listing of the plea, the CJI said, “All right, we will see.”

At the outset, Sibal said the matter pertained to what is happening in Karnataka and it is spreading all over and now children from all over the country are getting involved and in the meantime, the examinations are two months away.

The bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli, said, “Please wait. We cannot do anything. Let the high court decide. Why should we look into it immediately. Let the high court hear the matter. Today also the matter is listed before a three-judge bench that is what the information is.”

The court said it is “too early to interfere” and some time may be given to the high court to see whether some interim relief is granted.

“Let us see. The problem is if we list the matter here, the high court will never hear,” the CJI said, adding “We are not on merits. Please understand. At least give one day's time.”

As Sibal insisted, the bench said that it would consider the request for listing the plea.

On Wednesday, Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi constituted a full bench, comprising himself and Justices Krishna S Dixit and J M Khazi, which will look into the hijab matter on Thursday.

The high court was hearing petitions filed by some Muslim girls studying in government Pre-University colleges in Udupi district against a ban on their entry into classrooms with their hijabs on.

The state government had on Tuesday ordered closure of all high schools and colleges in the state for three days.

Prior to this, a bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit, which was hearing since Tuesday a batch of petitions against Hijab ban in classrooms, said these matters give rise to certain Constitutional questions of seminal importance in view of certain aspects of personal law.

The judge then urged the Chief Justice of the high court to set up a larger bench. PTI

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