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Hijab Row: SC says will protect fundamental rights of citizens, take up plea at appropriate time

The Supreme Court Friday said it would protect the Constitutional rights of every citizen and take up at an “appropriate time” the pleas challenging a direction of the Karnataka High Court asking students not to wear any religious clothing in educational institutions, and emphasised that these issues should not “spread” at “national level”.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana was told by senior advocate Devdutt Kamat, appearing for the students, that the high court order has led to the ‘suspension of fundamental right to practice religion under Article 25 of the Constitution’ and the plea be listed for hearing on Monday. Refusing to list the plea on February 14 as sought by Kamat, the bench, also comprising justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli, referred to the ongoing hearing of the case in the high court and said it will protect the fundamental right of every citizen and take up the matter at an “appropriate time”.

At the outset, Kamat said, “I am mentioning a fresh SLP against an interim order passed yesterday in the ‘hijab’ matter by the high court. I would say it is rather strange that the high court says that none of the students should disclose any religious identity when they go to school and college. It has far reaching implications not only for Muslim community but also for other faiths.”

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