Total public ban on burkha in France risks being 'unconstitutional'

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London, Mar 31 (ANI): France's top administrative body has warned President Nicolas Sarkozy's government that a total public ban on the burkha, the full Islamic veil, risks being found to be unconstitutional. owever, a ban on face-covering garments could apply in certain "high risk" zones for security reasons, it found.

The Council of State said a total public ban on the burkha or niqab could well violate the French constitution and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, The Telegraph reports.

"There appears ... to be no legally unchallengeable justification for carrying out such a ban," it said. oreover, a ban limited to the full veil could be viewed as discriminatory and "tricky to put into practice," it went on to say, in particular as the majority of women who wear it do so of their own free will.

The conclusions sparked anger among Right-wing backers of a full ban from President Sarkozy's UMP party.

The French president has stepped up efforts to ban face-covering veils since declaring them "not welcome" in a speech last June.

A parliamentary commission examined the issue for six months last year before making 15 recommendations in a report in January. It stopped short of calling for a full ban. (ANI)

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