The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to list for urgent hearing the petitions filed against the Karnataka High Court’s decision to uphold the ban on wearing hijab in educational institutions in the state, Bar and Bench reported.

The Karnataka High Court too, in its interim order on February 10, had banned students from wearing any religious clothing in class.

The matter for urgent listing was mentioned before Chief Justice NV Ramana on Thursday by Senior Advocate Devadutt Kamat, representing one of the petitioners.

Kamat told the court that examinations of the petitioners were nearing. To this, Ramana said that examinations have nothing to do with the matter.

“Don’t sensationalise the issue,” he said.

But Kamat contended that the students were not being allowed to enter schools, and so, they might lose an academic year.

Ramana, however, refused to give a specific date for the hearing.

On March 16, the Supreme Court had said that it would take up the matter after Holi vacations.

It had taken note of the submissions of Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde, appearing for some students, that urgent hearing was needed keeping in mind the upcoming examinations, PTI reported.

The hijab ban case

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.

On March 15, the High Court upheld the ban, ruling that hijab is not essential to Islam.

No re-exams for absentees: Karnataka minister

Many students had skipped their practical exams, held in February and March, hoping that the court’s judgement would be in their favour.

When it did not happen, the students sought re-examinations. However, on Monday, the Karnataka government ruled out holding re-examinations for those who had skipped them due to the hijab protests.

“We will not create a precedent by holding re-exams for absentees,” BC Nagesh, Karnataka’s minister for primary and secondary education, had said. “They can appear for supplementary exams like everyone else. We are not going to make an exception.”

The minister had added the state has never held re-examinations for absentees, and this year would be no different.