The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear petitions challenging a Karnataka High Court order upholding the state government’s ban on wearing hijabs in educational institutions, Live Law reported.

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, representing the petitioners, mentioned the case before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana. He said that the petitioners were losing out on their studies on account of the High Court order.

Ramana said that the case will be listed next week, but did not specify a date.

On March 15, the High Court upheld the state government’s ban on hijabs in schools and colleges and held that headscarves were not essential to Islam. A group of students approached the Supreme Court challenging the order.

The petition contended that many Muslim girls were dropping out of schools and colleges in view of the High Court order.

Hijab ban case

In December and January, a group of Muslim 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 Karnataka.

Hindu students and mobs of men protested against Muslim women wearing hijabs to educational institutes. At some colleges, Muslim students were heckled, while in another case, some men climbed up a flagpole to plant a saffron flag and broke into classrooms.

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 All India Muslim Personal Law Board has also filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the High Court’s verdict.

The board contended that scriptures in the Quran mandate the hijab and that the High Court’s order was discriminatory to Muslim girls and women.