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Karnataka Govt Announces Y Category Security To Judges In Hijab Case After Police FIR Over Threatening Message

The Karnataka Government has decided to provide ‘Y’ category security cover to the three judges including the Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi of the Karnataka High Court, who were part of the bench which upheld the ban on wearing of hijab inside classrooms in colleges with prescribed dress code.

Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai informed about the decision on Sunday, while speaking to the media persons. He said that in wake of the First Information Report filed by the police after a video went viral on social media which contained life threatening messages against the judges who part of the bench which delivered the verdict.

The FIR was registered with the Vidhana Soudha police station at Bengaluru on March 19 as Crime No. 18/2022 on the complaint given by Advocate Sudha Katwa. The police registered the case under sections 506 (1), 505 (1) ( C ) 505 (1) (b) and 153A, 109, 504, 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code.

The complainant claimed that she received a video message in Tamil language with shocking threats issued against the judges. The complainant said that the the speaker in the video message was seen threatening the judges in the hijab case after making a reference to the murder of an Additional District Judge in Jharkhand during his morning walk and warned that the judges in the hijab case

The complaint sad : “The said video message seems to have originated from Tamil Nadu (probably Madurai district) in open public meeting wherein the speaker refers to the murder of a judge in Jharkhadn. The speaker makes a similar threat to the Chief Justice of Karnataka by stating people know where the Chief Justice goes for walking”

Further the complaint mentions that in the video the speaker addresses the Chief Justice in a singular language and openly challenges to file any case against him. He also addresses court judgements in very vulgar language.

The complaint states that the video message affects the very administration of justice and it is an open threat to free, fair, open and independence of judiciary. “The above hated speech not only provokes hatred among the members of the society but also directly targets the judiciary and legal community.”

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khazi had on March 15 held that the wearing of hijab is not a part of Essential Religious Practice in Islamic faith and thus, is not protected under Article 25 of the Constitution.

A Full Bench of the High Court further held that prescription of school uniform by the State is a reasonable restriction of the students’ rights under Article 25 and thus, the Government Order issued by the Karnataka government dated February 5 is not violative of their rights

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