SC bars head scarf from CBSE medical exam

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday declined to interfere with the dress code prescribed by the CBSE for candidates appearing for the AIPMT exam on Saturday, barring them from wearing either a head scarf and full-sleeved shirt.

A bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy while rejecting the PIL by Students Islamic Organisation of India, said: “If you appear in an examination without a scarf, your faith will not disappear.”

Its response came as senior counsel Sanjay Hegde, appearing for the organisation, said: “Wearing head scarf is an essential religious practice. The girls will be forced to abandon the examination.”

Describing the plea as “nothing but an ego”, the court said that candidates can wear the head scarf after the exam is over. “It is only for three hours… wear scarf after three hours”, Chief Justice Dattu said.

The court also observed that faith is something different from wearing a particular type of clothes.

“Sorry, sorry, sorry, we are not going into these small issues,” Chief Justice Dattu said rejecting the plea as Hegde sought to urge the court that “minority is a minority”.

At the outset of the hearing, Chief Justice Dattu questioned the locus of the SIOI to raise the issue of dress code. “Organisation can’t come before us to question dress code and head scarf.”

The apex court on June 15 had scrapped the AIPMT for the year 2015-16 following the leak of its question paper and circulation of their answer keys through electronic devices at different examination centres in 10 states across the country.

Earlier the Kerala High Court while refusing to interfere with the dress code prescribed by the CBSE to prevent any unfair practices had granted permission to two Muslim girls to appear in the test wearing head scarf.

 

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