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New Delhi: No re-examinations will be held for students in Karnataka who missed their exams because of not being allowed into schools and colleges with their hijabs on, the state government has said.
While waiting for the final Karnataka high court judgment on the matter, several students had decided not to attend classes or give their practical exams, hoping the court would rule in their favour. However, the court’s final judgment was on the lines of its interim order, saying that schools and colleges were within their rights to ban hijabs in classrooms.
Karnataka’s minister for primary and secondary education B.C. Nagesh told The Hindu that the state has never repeated exams for absentees, for whatever reason, and will not be starting now. “We will not create a precedent by holding re-exams for absentees. They can appear for supplementary exams like everyone else. We are not going to make an exception,” he said.
Law and parliamentary affairs minister J.C. Madhuswamy told the Indian Express that the state government can accommodate students who had not attended examinations before the court verdict, but it cannot do it for those who have not attended examinations after the ruling. “The Karnataka high court order has to be followed. We cannot go against it.” he said.
Nagesh told the newspaper that about 400 Muslim women students had skipped schools and colleges on Monday.
The demand by a section of young women in an Udupi pre-university college to wear their hijabs inside classrooms erupted into a major row after the college denied them entry and some Hindu students turned up in saffron shawls. The issue then spread to other parts of the state, and the government insisted on a uniform norm.
The Karnataka high court judgment has now been challenged in the Supreme Court.