Ashram’s top priest defends lawyer representing Hijab in Indian court

Benaluru, February 14 (KMS): The Ramakrishna Ashram in southern Indian state of Karnataka has defended a lawyer who has faced attacks for representing Muslim students in the Hijab case.

Ashram’s top priest Swami Bhaveshanand said, “I am more pained to observe that the name of Shri Devadatt Kamat, senior advocate in the Supreme Court, is being dragged in this controversy simply because he represented a party in the court as an advocate”.

Arguing for students who have been told not to wear hijabs in schools and colleges in the state’s Udupi, Senior advocate Devadatt Kamat had on Thursday told the Karnataka High Court that the religious headscarves were part of their culture which cannot be impinged upon.

“Some elements are trying to brand him as supporting a cause against Hindu religion. This perception is absolutely uncalled for and baseless. A lawyer representing a client in the court has to do his duty and justice to his client’s cause. That is a professional duty and responsibility. It cannot be branded as a cause against the Hindu Religion,” he added.

Calling the attacks on Kamat “unjustified”, the priest applauded the advocate’s antecedents as a “devout follower of Shri Ramakrishna Vivekanand Philosophy”.

Kamat also cited verses from the Quran which said it was incumbent upon women to cover their heads before anyone other than close family members.

“Our fundamental right is held hostage to the college development committee. The government order says the prohibition of headscarves is not a violation of Article 25. The GO (Government Order) is not as innocuous as the state government says,” Kamat said.

“An unnecessary discussion is going on about the dress code of Muslim girls in Schools/Colleges, and, I am pained to witness a raging controversy in this regards at different levels of the society. This is certainly not in good taste, and, in the interest of peace and harmony in the Society,” he said.

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