No authority, no court can’t say Muslim women shouldn’t wear hijab, says Dave

New Delhi, September 20, 2022
(KMS):  If a Muslim woman thinks that wearing of hijab is conducive for her religion, no authority, no court can say otherwise, senior advocate Dushyant Dave said to the Supreme Court of India.

Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the ban on wearing Hijab in educational institutions in Karnataka.

A batch of 23 petitions is listed before the bench. Some of them are writ petitions filed directly before the Supreme Court seeking the right to wear hijab for Muslim girl students while others are special leave petitions which challenge the judgment of the Karnataka High Court dated March 15 which upheld the hijab ban, according to Live Law.

“We may like it or may not like it, but that does not affect their right to wear hijab,” Dave said.

While arguing Dave quoted from Ratilal Gandhi case – no outside authority has right to say these are not essential religious practices. He quotes from same case – “in cases of doubt, a the court should take a common sense view”. “Can we say from a common sense view that hijab is not an essential practice,” asked Dave.

“Religious right is individualistic, it is the choice of an individual,” he said.

“I will show constitution assembly debates for Article 25. I will show what Sardar Patel, and Dr Ambedkar had feared. This was exactly what they feared. They forewarned us. I will also show what Sardar Patel said as Chairman of Minority community. You will be surprised, their fears are turning to reality,” Dave said to the top court.

He also quotes HV Kamath, “When I say that a State should not identify itself with any particular religion, I do not mean to say that a State should be anti-religious or irreligious…We have certainly declared that India would be a secular State. But to my mind a secular state is neither a God-less State nor an irreligious nor an anti-religious State.”