Bombay HC To Hear Plea Against College's Restriction On 'Naqabs' & 'Burqas'

Bombay HC To Hear Plea Against College's Restriction On 'Naqabs' & 'Burqas'

A group of students aged 19 to 21 from the Govandi area of Mumbai has approached the Bombay High Court to challenge their college's notice banning the use of naqabs and burqas in classrooms.

Siksha MUpdated: Saturday, June 15, 2024, 04:15 PM IST
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Bombay HC | File

A group of students aged 19 to 21 from the Govandi area of Mumbai has approached the Bombay High Court to challenge their college's notice banning the use of naqabs and burqas in classrooms.

The petition, filed by advocate Altaf Khan, objects to a message circulated by Assistant Professor Pravin Bendle on May 1, 2024, which outlined a 'dress code.' The message specified that girls could only wear non-revealing full formal Indian or Western attire. However, it prohibited the use of burqas, naqabs, hijabs, badges, caps, and stoles, requiring students to remove these items before moving around the college.

The petitioners, who live in slums and have been wearing burqas for two to seven years, study at Chembur Trombay Education Society's NG Acharya and DK Marathe College, which is affiliated with Mumbai University and government-aided. The plea states that there were no restrictions on wearing naqabs or hijabs during the initial years of their education at the college, and no uniform was prescribed. Senior students were previously allowed to wear these garments in classrooms.

On May 13, the students raised the issue with the college administration, but their concerns were allegedly ignored. They also sought help from Mumbai University and the University Grants Commission but received no response.

The students are particularly concerned as the new academic year began this week. When they attended college on Thursday, they were informed again that their naqabs and burqas would not be allowed. Despite the college's message indicating a relaxation of the dress code on Thursday, the management clarified that this did not apply to naqabs and burqas.

Khan mentioned the petition for urgent hearing before the bench of Justices AS Chandurkar and RS Patil on Friday, and the plea is scheduled for hearing on June 19.

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