The Karnataka High Court on Thursday indicated that it would pass an order restraining all students from adopting a dress code that professed their religion till such time the court was hearing the pleas on the hijab row.
"We want peace and tranquility in the state," the bench led by High Court Chief Justice Ritu Awasthi said amid protests from advocates representing the students.
"Till the disposal of this case, you people should not insist on wearing these religious things," the three-judge bench said. "It is a matter of few days. Please cooperate," CJ Awasthi said.
"We are ready to decide the issue at the earliest. We are ready for daily hearings, the judge said.
The high court is hearing pleas challenging the hijab ban in educational institutions. On Wednesday, Justice Krishna Dixit who was hearing the pleas had referred the matter to a larger bench after observing that the issues gave rise to "constitutional questions that were of "seminal importance".
Senior advocate Devdatt Kamat, representing one of the students who was stopped from wearing her hijab in Pre-University College, vehemently opposed CJ Awasthi request. "An order of this kind would amount to the suspension of Article 25 (right to religion), Kamat said. To this, CJ Awasthi said, "Take it however you want. You have approached the courts, now have faith."
"Such an order at this stage cannot be passed. You are asking us to choose between education and conscience," Kamat said to persuade the bench from taking such a step. "It is a total affront to my right if you ask me not to wear my headscarf," he added.
"For a few days, we cannot be asked to suspend our faith," Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde said representing another student who has challenged the ban on hijab.
The high court order will be out soon. The matter is now posted for Monday at 2:30 pm.