A viral message claiming the Bombay High Court has passed an order that if a Muslim female student chooses to wear a gown, scarf or hijab to college then the college management has no right to stop her, is misleading.
BOOM found no such order has been passed by the court recently. However, in 2018, the Bombay HC had permitted a medical student to wear a gown and headscarf to a college. The medical student had taken a homeopathy college to court alleging she was not allowed to wear the hijab and barred from sitting for exams due to poor attendance.
The viral message also falsely claims that the Bombay HC's order is in retaliation to the judgement by the Karnataka HC which banned the wearing of hijab in schools and colleges.
The message is being shared after the Karnataka High Court on March 15, 2022, ruled that wearing a hijab was not an essential religious practice in the Islamic faith and upheld the government-imposed ban.
The message in Hindi translates to, "Big decision of Bombay High Court. If any Muslim girl student wants to wear gown, scarf or hijab to study then the college management has no right to stop her. Befitting reply to the decision of Karnataka High Court. One country, two laws!"
(Original text in Hindi - *बॉम्बे हाईकोर्ट का बड़ा फैसला* *अगर कोई मुस्लिम छात्रा शिक्षा प्राप्त करने के लिए..* गाउन स्कॉर्फ या हिजाब पहनना चाहती है तो कॉलेज के मैनेजमेंट को रोकने का कोई अधिकार नहीं है ,, कर्नाटक हाईकोर्ट के फैसले का मुँहतोड़ जवाब एक देश, दो क़ानून !!)
BOOM found that the viral message is misleading and no such order was passed by the Bombay High Court recently.
We first ran a Google search for the keywords 'Bombay HC Hijab order' and did not find any recent petitions filed or any order articles about students wearing the hijab in Maharashtra educational institutions.
Additionally our search showed a story published by a site Clarion India on March 16, 2022 with the headline, 'Bombay HC Grants Girl's Plea Allowing Her to Attend College Wearing Hijab'. The story reported about a female student from Sai Homeopathic Medical College in Thane district who had had moved a writ petition in the court "complaining that she was unable to attend lectures as the college was not allowing her to wear hijab in its premises"
Clarion India has since deleted the story but an archive of the cached version can be viewed here.
Using keywords from this we ran a search and found that the case is from 2018 when a student, Fakeha Badami, filed a petition claiming she was not being allowed to attend college because of her hijab and hence had missed her exams. According to a report published on May 26, 2018 in the Indian Express, the college had in its reply claimed, "Badami was held ineligible as she had low attendance."
The Asian Age in 2018 published a story about the same case and said that after hearing the petition, "the Bombay High Court directed the college and university to allow the student to wear the hijab...."
BOOM further found that since the hijab row started in Karnataka, no petition has been filed in the Bombay HC by any student demanding that they be allowed to wear the hijab to their school or college. Maharashtra does not have rules expressly prohibiting the same in educational institutions.
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