In the hijab ban matter today, the Karnataka High Court was told that the secularism practiced in India was different from that of Turkey, which had banned the wearing of hijab in public.."We are not Turkey which says no religious symbols can be displayed in public. That hijab ban was upheld by court due to that. But their Constitution is completely different. Our Constitution recognises different faiths," Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat said on behalf of the petitioners..The Bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices Krishna S Dixit and JM Khazi was hearing a batch of petitions filed by Muslim girl students in the State claiming that they were not being allowed to enter colleges on account of the government order (GO) which effectively bans the wearing of hijab (headscarves).Resuming his submissions from yesterday Kamat, countered the claim of Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi that the term "Sarvajanika Suvyavasthe" used in the GO does not mean 'public order'."I had to go to Kannada translation of Constitution and wherever public order is used, it is Sarvajanika Suvyavasthe," Kamat said.He went on to submit that neither under Article 25(2)(a) or (b) of the Constitution can Essential Religious Practices be curtailed, except on grounds of public order, morality or health. On the wearing of hijab, he said,"This is not a display of religious identity. It is a practice of faith. To counter that, nobody wears a shawl. You will have to show that it is not display of religious identity alone but something more.".Kamat then cited examples of the stand taken by other countries on similar issues. He referred to a South African judgment which set aside the expulsion of a Hindu girl with roots in South India for wearing a nose ring in school. He also referred to Turkey's ban on wearing hijab, saying,"Our secularism is not Turkey's secularism. Our secularism is positive secularism where State plays an enabling role to exercise fundamental rights and religious freedoms of all communities. It recognises all religions as true."Moreover, he referred to the doctrine of heckler's veto, as per which, he said, the State has a positive obligation to create a situation for enforcement of fundamental freedoms. On the doctrine of proportionality, he said,"Assuming you have power to prescribe and enforce uniform, where is the power to expel students from school because they have not adhered to that uniform? The doctrine of proportionality will come in."At this point, CJ Awasthi asked,"In your case, have the students been expelled?""No, but they are not being allowed to attend class. It has the same effect," Kamat argued."Expulsion is one thing, not permitting entry is another," Justice Dixit pointed out.Concluding his submissions, he asked the Court not to continue with its interim order and to allow the students to attend classes while wearing hijab of the same colour as the prescribed uniform..Senior Advocate Ravivarma Kumar was next to make submissions on behalf of another petitioner. He pointed out that as per the statement of objections, the State government is yet to take a decision on the issue. "It has constituted a high level committee which will examine the matter. As of now, government has not prescribed any uniform or prohibited wearing of hijab," he said.After going through the GO, Kumar said that the sum and substance is that there is no ban on wearing hijab, and that the GO only says that college development committees (CDC) can prescribe uniform in schools and colleges. He went on to contend,"It is my submission that College Development Committee is an extra legal committee contrary to the scheme of the [Karnataka Education] Act and the letter of the rule."Referring to Section 2(7) of the Act, he said that the CDC is not the "competent authority" under the Act, and has no power to prescribe uniform..The Court will hear the matter next on Wednesday, at 2:30 PM..Yesterday, Kamat argued that college development committees comprising Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) could not decide on issues of public order and fundamental rights. He summed up that that the GO issued by the State on February 5 was violative of Article 25 of the Constitution (right to freedom of religion) and was passed without application of mind..[Hijab ban] MLA committee cannot decide on public order, fundamental rights: Petitioners to Karnataka High Court.The petitioners - Muslim girl students from various colleges in Karnataka - approached the High Court after they were denied permission to attend classes on account of wearing hijab. Among the grounds cited in the petition is that the freedom of conscience and the right to religion are both guaranteed by the Constitution, despite which the students were singled out arbitrarily for belonging to the Islamic faith.Further, the manner in which they were ousted created a stigma against them, affecting their mental health as well as their future prospects, it was submitted. It was also claimed that wearing of hijab was an essential part of Islam and enjoys protection under Article 25(1) of the Constitution, which confers the right to freely profess, practise and propagate religion..On February 10, the Court had passed an interim order barring students from wearing hijab, saffron shawls (bhagwa) or use any religious flags while attending classes in Karnataka colleges, till the matter is decided."It hardly needs to be mentioned that ours is a country of plural cultures, religions & languages. Being a secular State, it does not identify itself with any religion as its own. Every citizen has the right to profess & practise any faith of choice, is true. However, such a right not being absolute is susceptible to reasonable restrictions as provided by the Constitution of India," the Court noted.The petitioners had approached the Supreme Court against this interim order. The appeal was mentioned before Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Friday, who said that the top court will hear the matter at an appropriate time.