Supreme Court concludes hearing in Karnataka hijab case, reserves Judgment

News Network
September 22, 2022

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New Delhi, Sept 22: After a marathon hearing over a period of 10 days, the Supreme Court today reserved its judgment on a batch of petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court's judgment which upheld the ban on wearing hijab by Muslim students in educational institutions.

A bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia heard Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Karnataka Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi and Addl Solicitor General KM Nataraj for the State. Senior Advocates R Venkataramani, Dama Seshadri Naidu and V Mohana appeared for college teachers. The Petitioners' side had concluded its arguments on Tuesday.

Making rejoinder submissions in the matter today, Senior Advocates Dushyant Dave and Huzefa Ahmadi today submitted that the arguments of Solicitor General regarding involvement of Popular Front of India are wholly irrelevant and are made to cause prejudice. They argued that no material has been shown on record regarding this.

The Petitioners argued that unlike triple talaq and cow sacrifice, Hijab is mentioned in Quran and it is the farz of Muslim women to retain the same. Further, it was contended that in absence of State showing that hijab affects the fundamental rights of others, any restriction on wearing the same affects the freedom of conscience and "behavioural privacy" of Muslim women. It also hampers their education prospects, it was argued.

Allegations about PFI conspiracy false: Dave

The Solicitor General had alleged that till the year 2021, no girl student was wearing any hijab. However, an agitation was started by the Popular Front of India to create 'social unrest' and that the students were made part of this conspiracy.

Dave said he "regrets" such allegations have been imputed sans any pleadings in that regard.

He took the bench through the impugned circular of the Karnataka government, to point out that there is no mention of any PFI activity and rather, the circular cites observance of religious practices as a "hindrance" to unity and equality.

Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi also submitted that argument of PFI was not raised before High Court. "They can't rely on documents not on record. It is an argument introduced to create a prejudice." 

Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat said that though State made a "grandiose statement" that till 2021 nobody wore hijab, there is no pleading to that context.

Justice Gupta agreed that in one of the writ petitions, there is a mention that the Petitioner was wearing hijab. "And there is no counter-affidavit controverting this fact," Kamat added.

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News Network
September 30,2022

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New Delhi, Sept 30: Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge have filed their nominations for the Congress presidential poll. 

Kharge's candidature was proposed by party leaders Ashok Gehlot, Digvijaya Singh, Pramod Tiwari, PL Punia, AK Antony, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Mukul Wasnik. 

G23 leaders Anand Sharma and Manish Tewari are also proposers for Kharge's candidature. Earlier in the day, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh announced that he would not contest the party president's election and would instead propose the candidature of his senior Kharge. 

Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Thursday night met Sonia Gandhi and discussed the crisis in the party's Rajasthan unit, and later said the Congress chief would take "positive decisions" with regard to the state. 

Pilot, who spent around an hour at Gandhi's residence where Congress general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal was also present, said he conveyed his sentiments and gave his feedback to the party president.

Pilot's meeting with Gandhi comes days after an open rebellion by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's loyalists over a possible leadership change in the state. "I met Congress president Sonia Gandhi. She listened to me calmly. The events in Rajasthan were discussed in detail," Pilot said after the meeting.

Pilot met Gandhi hours after his bete noire Ashok Gehlot met her in the afternoon, following which the Rajasthan chief minister announced that he will opt out of the Congress president's race. Gehlot also said the decision on whether he would remain CM would be taken by party chief Sonia Gandhi.

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News Network
October 3,2022

Bengaluru, Oct 3: JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Monday said there is a big question on the ruling BJP's claims of "Acche Din" (good days), as he referred to RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale' statement expressing concern over 'rising income inequality' and unemployment in the country.

The former Chief Minister, in a series of tweets, said the statement by a top leader of RSS, which is the ideological parent-organisation of the ruling party, holds mirror to the present condition in the country.

"BJP's mother-root, RSS' general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale’s statement that economic inequality, poverty and unemployment are very dangerous holds mirror to the present condition in India. Now, there are big questions on the claims of Acche Din," Kumaraswamy said.

Stating that one doesn’t require expertise to say who have flourished, who have lost everything in the last seven years of BJP rule, he said Hosabale himself has said that 20 crore people are below povertyline and four crore youth unemployed. "Then, who became rich in the last 7 years?" Hosabale on Sunday expressed concern over alleged rising income inequality and unemployment, asserting that poverty is posing as a "demon-like challenge in front of us."

He, however, has said several steps have been taken in the last few years to address this challenge.

Pointing out that malnutrition is rampant across the country and there is no drinking water in a number of villages, Kumaraswamy said, "When this is the truth, why is there fear to introspect 'Acche Din'? Hosabale has spoken the truth of what surveys also say."

"Acche Din" is the ruling BJP's slogan which has been used by the J P Nadda-led party and its leaders since the time the party came to power in 2014.

Warning not to be surprised if increasing economic inequality leads to "bigger rage", Kumaraswamy said the country getting caught in the web of ‘corporate world’ is not a good sign. "People’s frustration and impatience is increasing day by day. It is time the BJP woke up," added the son of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda. 

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News Network
October 3,2022

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Mysuru, Oct 3: Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi resumed at Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Circle in Mysuru early Monday and received a rousing response, as he left for Pandavapura via Manipal Hospital Circle. Instead of the scheduled break at Manipal Hospital Circle, the yatra proceeded towards Naganahalli Gate on Bengaluru Road, an extra 3.5 km away.

Rahul passed through Chamarajendra Circle in front of the North Gate of Mysuru Palace, Ashoka Road, Myrusu Central Prisons, Fountain Circle, Tipu Sultan Circle, Millennium Circle, St Philomena’s College, Bannimantapa, JSS Medical College, Bengaluru Road, Manipal Hospital Circle on Outer Ring Road, KR Mill, Siddalingapura and Naganahalli Gate. In some stretches, people gathered on both sides, while in others, crowds were not allowed. It took over one hour and 15 minutes for the 10 km leg of the yatra from Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Circle to Naganahalli Gate.

The yatra resumed after a break at Naganahalli Gate at 9.05 am and proceeded towards Srirangapatna in Mandya district. A barefoot woman held hands with Rahul Gandhi and walked along with him for a while near Kalasthavadi on the border of Mandya district.

People waited with placards on the median and also on footpaths of the route, while folk art troupes performed at some places. Congress and national flags were waved all along. People gathered and also those who took part in the yatra shouted slogans such as ‘Bharat Jodo’. Near St Philomena’s College, a group of youths, wearing T-shirts and holding placards with ‘We are walking for jobs’ slogans, joined the yatra, met Rahul Gandhi and shared a few words.

It has to be recalled that Rahul Gandhi entered Karnataka via Gundlupet town, in Chamarajanagar district, from Gudlur in Tamil Nadu, on September 30. He entered Mysuru district on October 1 via Kalale Gate in Nanjangud taluk. He reached Kalale Gate from Tondavadi Gate in Gundlupet taluk, where he had halted. He reached Thandavapura by Saturday evening, via Chikkaiahana Chatra.

Rahul participated in numerous events at Khadi village Badanavalu to mark Gandhi Jayanthi on October 2 and resumed his yatra at Kaalibeeramma temple at Kadkola Industrial Area junction. He walked up to APMC Yard in Bandipalya and halted in a camp on Doddakere Maidan in Mysuru. His speech in the rain near Kaalibeeramma temple received applause. People took shelter under chairs by holding them above their heads, eager to listen to his speech.

The leader was accompanied by national leaders like Randeep Singh Surjewala and K C Venugopal and state leaders like D K Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah, B K Hariprasad and R Dhruvanarayan. Other leaders like Saleem Ahmed, Krishna Bhyregowda, Vasu, Tanveer Sait, M K Somashekar, Yathindra Siddaramaiah and Priyank Kharge were in the padyayatra on Monday.

He will reach Pandavapura by Monday evening, after a break at Srirangapatna. The yatra will break for a couple of days in the wake of the Dasara festival, especially for the Jamboo Savari. 

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