The Karnataka government on Monday told the high court that hijab is not an essential religious practice and should be kept outside educational institutions, news agency PTI reported. The hearing will resume tomorrow at 2.30 pm.
According to online website Live Law, Advocate general Prabhuling Navadgi while appearing for the Basavaraj Bommai government, argued in court,”There are three test to determine if a practice is essential religious practice. Is this part of core belief? Is this practice fundamental to that religion? If that practice is not followed, will the religion cease to exist?
The Karnataka high court bench comprising chief justice Ritu Raj Awasthi along with justices Krishna Dixit and JM Khazi asked the advocate general whether hijab can be permitted in institutions or not.
To this, advocate general Prabhuling Navadgi replied,” The operative part of the government order leaves it to the institutions to make a decision in this regard.”
“The government order gives complete autonomy to the institutions to decide uniform. The preamble of Karnataka Education Act is to foster a secular environment,” he argued.
The Karnataka government counsel also argued that the stand of state is that the element of introducing religious aspects shouldn’t be there in the uniform.
During the hearing, the advocate general invoked Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s statement wherein he had called for religious instructions to be kept outside educational institutions, legal website Live Law reported.
Justice Dixit replied, “Our Constitution did not enact what Karl Marx has said, that religion is the opium of the masses.”