The Karnataka government has ruled out holding re-examinations for the students who skipped them due to the hijab protests, The Hindu reported on Monday.
In December, a group of Muslim girl students of the Government Women’s Pre-University College in Udupi city were not allowed to attend classes for being dressed in hijab. The students staged a protest and similar demonstrations were held in other parts of the state too.
On February 5, the Karnataka government passed an order banning clothes that “disturb equality, integrity and public order”. The students moved the High Court against the ban. The High Court, however, upheld the ban, ruling that hijab is not essential to Islam.
Many students had skipped their practical examinations held in February and March, hoping the court’s final verdict would be in their favour. After the court’s ruling, many students sought re-examinations, The Hindu reported.
“We will not create a precedent by holding re-exams for absentees,” BC Nagesh, Karnataka’s minister for primary and secondary education, told The Hindu. “They can appear for supplementary exams like everyone else. We are not going to make an exception.”
The minister added the state has never held re-examinations for absentees, and this year would be no different.
In pre-university exams, practical examinations carry 30 marks and theory 70, according to The Times of India.
On March 17, Karnataka Law Minister JC Madhuswamy had told the Assembly during the Zero Hour that the government will consider allowing students to appear for re-tests if they had missed the examinations held before the High Court’s interim order, the Deccan Herald reported.
“We can consider them missing the exams as either innocence or ignorance,” Madhuswamy had said.
The court’s interim order came on February 10, which banned students from wearing any religious clothing in class.
Madhuswamy said that if the students missed the classes after the interim order came out, they will not be allowed to take a re-test, the Deccan Herald reported. “Because they defied the court order,” he added.
The hijab case has now moved to the Supreme Court, which said it would hear the matter after Holi vacations.