The Karnataka government on Monday said that teachers wearing the hijab will not take part in invigilation duty for the ongoing Class 10 board exams and the upcoming Pre-University College exams in the state, The Times of India reported.

Education Minister BC Nagesh said the decision was taken as it would not be “morally right” for teachers to wear hijab when their students could not, as per the court’s order.

“As hijab is not allowed inside examination hall for students, to be morally right, we are not forcing teachers who insist on wearing hijab to take up exam duty,” Nagesh said, according to Hindustan Times. “We gave them the option to take exam duty or not,” said the minister for primary and secondary education.

On March 15, the Karnataka High Court had ruled that wearing the hijab was not essential to Islam. It had upheld the Karnataka government’s order from February 5, which had banned clothes that “disturb equality, integrity and public order”.

On March 25, a circular was issued by the state’s primary and secondary education department ordering students of state-run schools to take exams in the uniform prescribed by the government.

Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had said that action will be taken against those violating the High Court order.

Nagesh’s remarks on Monday were opposed by activists in the state, who accused the Karnataka government of discriminating against Muslim teachers.

“The statement of the education minister is against the guidelines of the court and is discriminatory,” Lawyer and activist Vinaya S said, according to Hindustan Times. “He has misinterpreted the court order in the past well.”

On Saturday, a legal notice was also issued to Nagesh over his remarks that students wearing hijab will not be allowed inside examination halls for the ongoing board exams, according to Hindustan Times.

The association had said that the minister’s statement contradicts the government order of March 25 that said uniforms that are fixed by the government or private schools are to be worn.

As per the order, if a school or college allows wearing hijab, those students can wear them during the examinations.