The High Court has suspended a directive of the Bangla Department of Dhaka University for six months, which stipulated female students to keep their face and ears visible during examinations and presentations.
The HC bench of Justice KM Kamrul Quader and Justice Mohammad Ali issued the order on Tuesday (March 28) following a writ petition filed in this regard.
The higher court has also issued a rule seeking explanation from the authorities concerned why the notice should not be declared illegal.
Secretary of Education Ministry, Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University, the registrar of the university and chairperson of Bangla Department of DU were asked to respond to the rule within the next four weeks.
Advocate Faizullah Faiz filed the writ petition on behalf of three students of the university, saying that the decision of the Bangla department of the Dhaka University is contradictory to the religious beliefs and independence.
The lawyer stood for the writ in the court, while Deputy Attorney General Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar represented the state.
On February 20, the lawyer filed the writ petition with the High Court challenging the legality of a notice issued earlier to keep all female students’ ears and faces visible.
Earlier on December 11 in 2022, the Bangla Department of DU issued a notice, signed by its chairperson, instructing female students to keep their faces and ears visible during all examinations, including viva and presentations.
The notice also warned that if anyone violates the instruction, action would be taken against them as per the university rules.
Quoting the High Court bench, Advocate Faizullah Faiz said, “Every person has the freedom to practice their own religion. That is the spirit of our constitution. No one can be forced to keep their face and ears uncovered.”
The female students who wear hijabs have been affected by the notice, he said.