- February 16, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Context- The Karnataka High Court is hearing a challenge to the constitutionality of the state government’s ban on students wearing a hijab in educational institutions. Whether the state can justify the ban on the ground that it violates ‘public order’.
What is public order?
- Public order is one of the three grounds on which the state can restrict freedom of religion.
- Public order’ is also one of the grounds to restrict free speech and other fundamental rights.
- Article 25 of the Constitution guarantees to all persons right to freedom and conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health.
- Public order is normally equated with equated with public peace and safety.
- According to List 2 of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, the power to legislate on aspects of public order rests with the states.
- Public order is an aggravated form of disturbance that is much higher than a law and order issue.
How has public order been interpreted by courts?
- In Ram Manohar Lohia vs State of Bihar (1965), the Supreme Court held that in the case of ‘public order’, the community or the public at large have to be affected by a particular action.
- “The contravention of law always affects order but before it can be said to affect public order, it must affect the community or the public at large.
- One has to imagine three concentric circles, the largest representing ‘law and order’, the next representing ‘public order’ and the smallest representing ‘security of State’.”