Report: Karnataka BJP govt paid Rs 88 lakh to two advocates who argued hijab ban case | Azad Times

1 week ago 28

Azad Times Desk.

Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General of India KM Nataraj argued on behalf of the Karnataka government in the Supreme Court.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Karnataka government paid Rs 88 lakh to Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General of India KM Nataraj who argued on behalf of the state government in the Supreme Court case related to the hijab ban enforced in the state.

A report by the investigative digital publication The File revealed that Mehta was paid Rs 39.60 lakh and Nataraj was paid Rs 48.40 lakh for arguing the case. Tushar appeared in court nine times, while Nataraj appeared in court 11 times in the case. The two advocates received Rs 4.4 lakh per hearing as remuneration. The Solicitor General of India is subordinate to the Attorney General for India and is the second highest law officer in the country.

The case – Fathima Bushra vs State of Karnataka – was heard by the Supreme Court in 2022 examining a batch of appeals challenging a Karnataka High Court verdict that effectively upheld the ban on wearing hijab in government schools and colleges. The apex court announced a split verdict with Justice Hemant Gupta affirming that the state government was authorised to enforce uniforms in schools and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia calling hijab a matter of choice that cannot be stifled by the state.

The Supreme Court case followed a case in the Karnataka High Court prompted by a petition filed by students of a government-run pre-university college in Udupi district of Karnataka which disallowed Muslim girl students from entering their college classroom because they were wearing the hijab.

The dispute in the Udupi college began in December 2021 and made international headlines in January 2022 when Muslim students were photographed outside their classrooms missing classes for wearing the hijab.

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