New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday turned down a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a direction to the Centre, states and Union Territories to implement a common dress code for students and staffers in registered educational institutions to secure equality and promote fraternity and national integration.
A bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia said this is not a matter which should come to the court for adjudication.
Senior advocate Gaurav Bhatia, appearing for petitioner Nikhil Upadhyay, said this is a constitutional issue and sought a direction under the Right to Education Act. Sensing the bench’s disinclination to entertain the PIL, the counsel withdrew it.
The plea was filed before the bench hearing another batch of pleas challenging the Karnataka High Court verdict refusing to lift the ban on hijab in educational institutions in the state.
As per the plea, educational institutions are secular public places and are meant to impart knowledge, wisdom, good health and contribute to nation building, not to follow essential and non-essential religious practices. It stated, “It is very essential to introduce a common dress code in all schools and colleges to preserve their secular character… otherwise tomorrow Naga Sadhus may take admission in colleges and attend the class without clothes citing essential religious practice.”
It sought a direction to the Centre to set up a judicial commission or an expert panel to suggest steps for inculcating values of “social and economic justice, socialism, secularism and democracy and to promote fraternity, dignity, unity and national integration among the students”.
The PIL stated, “Alternatively, being custodian of the Constitution and protector of fundamental rights, direct the Law Commission of India to prepare a report suggesting steps to secure social equality… within three months.”