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Students Challenge College’s Ban on Hijab, Naqab, and Burka in Bombay High Court

hijab bombay high court

Nine students from the Chembur Trombay Education Society’s NG Acharya and DK Marathe College have moved the Bombay High Court, contesting a directive issued by their college that bans the wearing of the hijab, burka, and niqab in the classroom.

The petitioners, second and third-year degree students, argue that the ban is “arbitrary, unreasonable, bad-in-law and perverse.” They say that the niqab, burka, and hijab are integral to their religious beliefs and that the college’s directive infringes on their fundamental rights.

The case is set to be heard by a bench headed by Justice AS Chandurkar next week.

According to the petition, on May 1, the college circulated a notice through its WhatsApp group, which includes both faculty members and students. The notice imposed a dress code restricting the use of burka, niqab, and hijab, as well as badges, caps, and stoles.

The students contend that this directive constitutes a “colourable exercise of power.” Initially, they approached the college management and principal, requesting the withdrawal of the restrictions as a matter of right, citing choice, dignity, and privacy in the classroom. They also appealed to the chancellor, vice chancellor of the University, and the University Grants Commission, seeking intervention to uphold the principle of imparting education without discrimination.

Despite their efforts, they received no response, prompting the students to file a petition with the High Court. The plea asserts that the notice was issued without any authority of law, rendering it null and void.

The petitioners have asked the High Court to quash the college’s notice, thereby allowing them to exercise their right to wear religious attire in the classroom.

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