The Bar Body has claimed that it has sent a representation to PM Modi stating that many anti-social elements are trying to spoil the secular values in educational institutions by misguiding the Muslim students to wear Niqab, Hijab, Burqa etc in place of prescribed secular dress code of the educational institutions.
AIBA Chairman, Senior Advocate Adish Aggarwala said that nobody should be permitted to use Hijab or Niqab in the educational institutions in India and educational institution's uniform should be strictly adhered to by the students of secular institutions.
"The citizens of India are entitled to have the right to follow their religious practices in their religious places and not in the secular places where a dress code is prescribed," he said.
"We appeal to the leaders of various religious organisations and their student wings to exercise calm and restraint in these matters, without resorting to provocative statements, slogans or violent behaviour. These are matters which must be resolved by legally permissible methods," AIBA said.
The AIBA further stated that in the matter titled SR Bommai versus Union of India, the Supreme Court of India has held that, "When the State allows citizens to practise and profess their religions, it does not either explicitly or implicitly allow them to introduce religion into non-religious and secular activities of the State." and "freedom and tolerance of religion of religion is only to the extent of permitting pursuit of spiritual life which is different from secular life."
"The Constitution of India under the sub-heading 'Right to Religious Freedoms' of Part-III namely "Fundamental Rights" grants religious freedoms guaranteeing the sacred rights to religious organizations to run their educational institutions. In such religious educational institutions, they are empowered to run these religious educational institutions as per the tenets of their religion. The management of Madarsas therefore can prescribe any religious dress code for the students, including Hijab and Niqab," states AIBA.
European countries like Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland have banned full-face veils, Burka and Hijab in order to uphold secular values, AIBA added.
"The present situation in some areas of Karnataka is the result of misinformation that Muslim students are entitled to wear Hijab in all educational institutions, as per Muslim religious scripts. Students who were agitating in Karnataka were wearing "Niqabs" in a non-religious institute. As a matter of fact, all educational institutions are not religious institutions. Niqab and Hijab are permitted in Muslim Madarsas and not in general secular educational institutions," read the representation.
The Hijab protests began on February 4 at the Government Girls PU College in Udupi district in Karnataka when some students alleged that they had been barred from attending classes. During the protests, some students were allegedly denied entry to college wearing hijab earlier this month