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Madras HC dismisses PIL seeking ban on religious attire in schools

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Madras HC dismisses PIL seeking ban on  religious attire in schools
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Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday dismissed a plea seeking a ban on students wearing attire exhibiting their respective religions while attending classes.

A division bench of Justices M Duraiswamy and T V Thamilselvi dismissed the plea by K Gopinath, president of Hindu Munnetra Kazhagam.

The petitioner's counsel sought to withdraw the petition, when the bench made it known to him that similar pleas were pending before the Supreme Court, in an apparent reference to the appeal against a Karnataka High Court order upholding the ban on the hijab inside classrooms.

The PIL wanted the court to direct the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that children strictly adhered to a uniform dress code when they go to school.

According to the petitioner, the fundamental right to profess religion was subject to reasonable restrictions.

"In 1960s, the schools in the state had been insisting upon a uniform dress code for all children in their respective institutions in order to ensure equality. However, in many schools, students do not adhere to the dress code strictly and wear add-on clothing such as Hijab and other religious attire," he said.

Claiming that such attire disturbs the decorum in a learning environment, he added that ours being a civilized society, no person in the name of religion, culture, or the like can be permitted to do any act that disturbs peace and tranquillity.

"Chapter 1V, Rule 14(iii) of code for uniforms in primary and nursery schools stipulated that the students should wear the uniforms prescribed by the respective school management. However, of late, attempts were deliberately being made to violate this stipulation," the petition claimed.

Further, he opined that religious riots should not be allowed to boom in the country, especially among school students. For this, no person should be permitted to do any act in the name of religion, culture, and the like that disturbs public peace and tranquillity.

Recently, in Karnataka, two pre-university college students from Udupi who had approached the Karnataka High Court challenging the Karnataka hijab ban, returned from the exam centre on Friday as they were not allowed to write the PUC exam wearing hijab.

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TAGS:Madras HC hijab ban 
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