A minority organisation, which had moved the Supreme Court against CBSE’s decision to ban wearing of headscarf and hijab while appearing for AIPMT examination, on Wednesday criticised the apex court’s order refusing to entertain the plea.
Iqbal Hussain, President of Students Islamic Organisation (SIO), today said that “the order issued by CBSE promotes curtailment of religious freedom of an individual” and added that the CJI’s remarks in this regard are unfortunate.
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Hussain’s views were echoed by M D Thomas, Director of Institute of Peace and Harmony Studies, who said, “CBSE’s intentions behind the circular to put strict measures in place to avoid cheating during examination are justified but the regulations announced by them were not deliberated upon well. The board has no right to tamper with constitutional rights”.
After the May 3 AIPMT was scrapped by SC amid reports of paper leak, the Central Board of Secondary Education had issued a notification, which stated that “the candidates will not bring items like belts, cap, scarf, etc” to the exam hall. It also asked the candidates to wear light clothes with half sleeves as well as open footwear. However, in view of opposition from some minority groups, CBSE had later allowed some flexibility in the dress code for the AIPMT re-test on July 25, saying there is “no bar” on wearing customary dress and for candidates who are appearing in centres in extreme climatic conditions.
“With such a circular CBSE is trying to cover up its failure to conduct an examination in a proper manner. The board needs to understand that AIPMT is not the only examination conducted in the country, when such rules are not in place for Civil Services and engineering entrance examinations, why are they showing such a communal mindset towards the medical exam,” Saleem Engineer, General Secretary, Jamaate Islami Hind, said.