CBSE won't relax PMT dress code: Kerala nun barred from writing test after she refuses to take off scarf

Thiruvananthapuram: A nun who refused to remove her headgear was on Saturday not allowed to write the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) here.

Sister Seba came to a school to write the examination in her usual dress. "I was told I can't sit for the exam in this dress," Seba told the media.

"I told the officials that I can remove my veil and will put it on after they check my identity. "But they said that's not possible, and I can write the exam only if I take off my head gear. I then decided to return," Seba said.

Bovas Mathew, official spokesperson of the Syro Malankara Church to which Seba belongs, described the incident as "really unfortunate". "It's really unfortunate that the central government is not doing anything to resolve this issue," Mathew told IANS.

"The constitution guarantees a person to hold on to his beliefs and customs. The judiciary should not have gone to this extent."

The nun who couldn't write the test. Image courtesy: IBN Live.

The nun who couldn't write the test. Image courtesy: IBN Live.

The CBSE board, which organises the exams, have taken stringent measures to make sure candidates don't resort to cheating during the pre-medical tests. The strict measures have been taken after it was found that the question papers had been leaked during the exams that were held on 3 May this year. The answers had been circulated widely following the leak.

The Supreme Court then cancelled the exams and ordered a fresh round of exams.

Several students had protested against the dress code set up by the CBSE. However, the Supreme Court has backed the board's decision and has said that it won't be relaxed for any examination.

The Indian Express reports that the Supreme Court has struck down a plea, seeking permission for Muslim students to wear a hijab during the pre-medical tests. A bench led by Chief Justice HL Dattu said that not wearing a hijab while taking an examination wouldn't amount to defying their faith. "Your faith won't disappear," were the exact words of the court.

The bench was responding to a petition filed by the Student's Islamic Organisation (SIO). The court said, "This court asked CBSE to re-conduct the exam. One petition is filed saying I should be allowed to wear a cap. Another petition is filed that I should be allowed to wear a kurta since it is my religious practice. Merely because you are wearing something different, should we be allowing such a prayer."

Not just scarfs, the CBSE board had issues directions asking candidates to not wear belts, full sleeved clothes, caps, covered footwear etc.

With inputs from IANS

Updated Date: Jul 25, 2015 21:01 PM

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