The Karnataka high court's verdict on hijab is a bad judgment and wearing the headscarf is an essential practice in Islam, said senior advocate AM Dhar, one of petitioners in the case.
Stating that the high court ruling will be challenged in the Supreme Court, Dhar said there is hope that justice would prevail in the end.
Earlier in the day, the Karnataka high court dismissed a batch of petitions challenging a government order banning the hijab in schools and colleges in the state.
"Wearing hijab is an essential practice in Islam. The Karnataka HC's verdict on hijab is a bad judgment. We'll challenge the judgment before the Supreme Court. We hope that justice will prevail in the Supreme Court," Dhar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
In its ruling, the high court observed that the Holy Quran does not mandate the wearing of the hijab. It "is a cultural practice and used as apparel as a measure of social security," the bench, comprising chief justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, and justices Krishna S Dixit and JM Khazi.
"At the most, the practice of wearing this apparel may have something to do with culture but certainly not with religion. This gains credence from Yusuf Ali's Note 3764 to verse 59 which runs as under: '...the times were those of insecurity (see next verse) and they were asked to cover themselves with outer garments when walking abroad.' It was never contemplated that they should be confined to their houses like prisoners," the court said in its order.
A batch of petitions was filed against the state government's order in the high court by some students after it invoked the Karnataka Education Act, earlier in February. The Act prohibits any piece of cloth that is not prescribed under the uniform norms and affects harmony, equality and public in educational institutions.
This sparked intense protests and sometimes violent clashes in parts of the state with Udupi being the epicentre. Counter protests were also staged by some right-wing groups.
The hearings that had continued for a few days were concluded on February 25 and the court had reserved its judgment for today.