New Delhi: The Karnataka government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that there is no restriction on wearing hijab on the school campus, and it is only restricted in the classroom while defending its decision to disallow hijab in classrooms of pre-university colleges.
It also emphasized that it has not touched any “religious aspect” in the hijab ban row.
Advocate General Prabhuling K. Navadgi, representing the Karnataka government, contended before a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia that it has never happened in Karnataka that a group of students came to school in hijab and began banging the gates.
As the bench queried if it started in one school and then spread, Navadagi said yes.
“There was a possibility of a public order issue,” he said, and emphasised that restriction on hijab was only in the classroom and when it was asserted militantly that they want to wear hijab and retaliated by others, it became a concern.
He said that it has to be demonstrated that wearing of hijab is a right to expression and right to privacy is still evolving jurisprudence and can’t be exercised in all zones.
The AG said France has prohibited hijab and the women there have not become any less Islamic. He added that the state has not touched any religious aspect or religious issue. “Much hue and cry is made by saying that hijab is banned. Let me clarify, hijab is not banned and the state never intended,” he said.
Navadgi submitted assuming wearing of hijab is a religious practice ordained in Quran and every mundane activity connected with the religion can’t be an essential religious practice. He added that if it were to be accepted that whatever is said in the Quran to be essential, it will defeat the tests of essentiality.
Citing Article 51A(j) of the Constitution, the AG contended that one should rise above religious identity to become part of one group, and the right to wear a dress cannot be absolute.
He said the right to wear dress as part of expression can’t be readily given at the mere asking and it has to be established what is the expression they want to convey and to whom they want to convey. He said that “they say they wear hijab as Islam mandates. That is no expression.”
Navadagi said the state only wants to inculcate discipline in students by regulating uniforms and any restrictive effect on rights under Article 19 of the Constitution is “incidental” and it cannot be a ground to invalidate the law. He added that there is no restriction on wearing hijab either on school campus or school transport. “It is only in classroom,” he said.
The bench quizzed Navadagi, citing the government circular, whether wearing a headscarf goes against unity and equality, and cited one of the contentions of the petitioners that there should be no uniform – since it is pre-university and some do not have uniform.
The AG contended that the words used in circular were if there is no uniform prescribed, wear something which goes along with unity and equality and also has no impact on law and order.
He said the state has only said educational institutions can prescribe uniforms for students, something which is “religion neutral”.
The top court will continue to hear arguments on Thursday on petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court verdict refusing to lift the ban on hijab in educational institutions of the state.
The post Restriction only in classroom, not outside, Karnataka to SC on hijab row appeared first on KalingaTV.
Sanwo-Olu Woos Foreign Investors To Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu played the quintessential salesman on Monday, September 19th, 2022 reeling off his administration’s achievements in the past three years to woo investors to the state.
Sanwo-Olu met a group of would-be investors in New York on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at a roundtable organized by the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) at Park Lane Hotel in the heart of the city.
He got an exciting response from the group of corporate giants who urged him to see himself as an ambassador of the private sector to the Federal Government.
With confidence, the Governor spoke of the major strides Lagos State has made in the past three years, despite COVID-19. He used the THEMES Agenda – the six-pillar development plan of his administration – as a guide.
According to the Governor, the state’s GDP has gone up by $5b to about $145,141b, budget has doubled to about %N1.7tr and infrastructural development has been tremendous. He cited landmark developments in transportation, the first pillar of THEMES, saying the Red Line and Blue Line rail projects were on track to be commissioned by the end of the year.
The rolling stocks for the Red Line, which his administration started, he said, are on the way to Lagos and work is going on as scheduled on the stations and the overpasses that will ensure a good transportation experience. There are about four other lines to be built for the state to be covered by rail so as to ease the pressure on roads.
Sanwo-Olu minced no words on the purpose of the meeting – to attract more investors to Lagos, which has 80 per cent of Foreign Direct Investments coming into Nigeria.
He spoke of opportunities in water transportation, saying from seven ferries, the state’s fleet has risen to 21, besides many others run by private operators. Investors can double the fleet, Sanwo-Olu said.
Many of the 15 jetties being built by the state are ready for commissioning, he added, stressing that the aim is to have an integrated urban transportation system, strengthened by a strategic road infrastructure, such as the Lekki-Epe Expressway and the Fourth Mainland Bridge, which has attracted many investors, among which one will be chosen before the end of the year.
The state, said the Governor, plans to build an Infectious Diseases Research Centre to tackle health challenges, such as COVID-19.
Over 1000 school projects have been completed and “we have introduced technology to make teaching and learning an exciting experience”.
“We are seeing the results. We used to have about 36% pass in School Certificate Examinations; now we have about 80%,” Sanwo-Olu said.
“We are opening brand new schools and introducing technology by giving teachers tablets to aid their job.”
He spoke about the 6,000 km fibre optic cable being laid around the state, saying the first phase of 3,000 km was almost completed. This, he said, will aid faster and cheaper internet connectivity, thereby boosting service in hospitals and schools, besides boosting the impressive activities of the youth in the tech ecosystem.
Sanwo-Olu described Lagos as the “entertainment capital of Africa”. He cited the recent Headies Awards in Atlanta and added that a Film Village was on the way. He mentioned opportunities in housing and assured would-be investors of “the sanctity of contracts”, with the state appointing new judges to aid smooth operations of the Judiciary.
On security, Sanwo-Olu described Lagos as “the safest state in Nigeria”. He said small businesses were being supported with grants, even as the youth and women are being encouraged.
It was, however, not all a matter of pass marks. The Governor spoke of challenges, such as refuse disposal, saying about 4000 metric tons were being generated daily. This, in his view, should attract investors, who are willing to turn waste to wealth – a path the state is willing to tread. There are also challenges in water, power and other sectors, which are awaiting investors, Mr Sanwo-Olu said.
The applause was loud as Sanwo-Olu ended his speech.
Replying, the Managing Director (Africa) of McLARTY Associates, Amb. (ret.) Terence P. McCulley, praised Sanwo-Olu for an insightful account of his administration’s policies and projects.
He said many “people who have returned from Lagos have spoken of how they no longer recognize the state because of the developments taking place there. He is of the view that the Governor has done well “because good governance is about providing services.”
Amb. McCulley said: “You can be the ambassador of the private sector to the Federal Government, providing an enabling environment for manufacturing, agriculture and technology, which are drivers of diversification.”
A participant spoke about the discovery of talents among Nigerian youths in the tech space. He said such talents were being lost to other countries because they could not be retained in Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu said the government was doing so much to link young graduates to companies which train them to make them employable under its Graduate Internship Programme, which has absorbed thousands of youths. There are other programmes, he said, agreeing that a retention strategy for talents was necessary.
At the meeting were Stephen Jennings, founder and CEO of Rendeavour, the organisers, Country Head, Nigeria, Rendeavour, Eyong Ebai, CEO, Africa, GE Healthcare, Mr Patrick Santillo, Senior Vice President, BCIU, Mr Biodun Dabiri, Chairman, Lekki Worldwide Investment and many others.
With the Governor were Economic Planning and Budget Commissioner, Sam Egube, Energy and Mineral Resources Commissioner, Lere Odusote, Information and Strategy Commissioner, Gbenga Omotoso, Special Adviser on SDG and Investments, Mrs Solape Hammond, Special Adviser on Public Private Partnership, Ope George and Mrs Ibilola Kasumu, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology.
JUST IN: ISWAP kills 11 farmers in Niger
At least 11 farmers – nine from Niger and two Nigerians – have been executed by insurgents of the Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP) in Diffa, Niger Republic.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Diffa region is close to the Lake Chad basin, a strategic area where the borders of four countries converge – Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.
The incident occurred on Tuesday around 6 p.m. when thirteen farmers were intercepted by the ISWAP terrorists while they were going to cut down trees. 11 of the farmers were shot dead, with two others lucky to escape.
ISWAP had before the deadly attack reportedly issued a warning to all local farmers and fishermen to vacate some of the islands in Marte, Abadam and some parts of Niger, accusing them of leaking information to security agents about their hideouts.
The slain farmers have been buried as many of them are Muslims.
The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.
JUST IN: “PDP now a northern party” – Fayose attacks Atiku
As the 2023 election draws near, Isaac Fayose, younger brother of Ayodele Fayose, a former governor of Ekiti State, on Wednesday said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has become “a Northern party”.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Isaac stated that as against the campaign slogan that Atiku Abubakar, presidential flag-bearer of the PDP is a unifier, the former Vice-President is “a divider”.
“PDP is now a Northern party. If you see their campaign, they are campaigning to the Northern Christians.
“Atiku is a divider. The party is officially dead,” Isaac said in a video posted on his known Facebook page.
Isaac’s comments comes after Atiku on Wednesday afternoon said no party member can force the PDP’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign. Ayu hails from Benue State, in Nigeria’s north-central region.
This is coming hours after the crisis rocking the PDP deepened on Wednesday as Governor Nyesom Wike’s team, made up mainly of Southern political heavyweights, pulled out of Atiku’s campaign council. They promised to support Atiku only if a Southerner replaces Ayu.
The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.
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