While several towns in France lifted the ban on wearing burkinis after the country's highest administrative court termed the move illegal, the island of Corsica continues to outlaw the use of full body swimwear. A local court ruled that imposing the ban was legal on public order grounds.

The ban, imposed in many French towns — including Cannes, Nice and Corsica — a few weeks ago led to a debate, with the proponents of the ban terming it important to maintain public order and hygiene at the beaches. However, those against the ban argued that the move violated the rights of women to choose what to wear.

The burkini ban also led to allegations of harassment of women in some towns, which further aggravated protests and prompted the country's top court to intervene. The court ruled on 1 September that outlawing the garment, mostly worn by Muslim women, is illegal, in terms of both public order and hygiene. However, contrary to the top court's judgement, the court in Bastia, Corsica, upheld the ban on Tuesday (6 September), terming it justified.

The Human Rights League organisation in France had challenged the ban in Corsica, which the Bastia court dismissed, saying the ban should be maintained as "strong emotions persist" on the island, the BBC reported.

Corsican Mayor Ange-Pierre Vivoni had imposed the ban in the island town after a mass brawl took place in Sisco in August between locals and people from the Muslim community that left five people injured. Vivoni termed the Bastia court ruling "a relief" for him and the local people.

French island town Corsica continues to outlaw the burkini after the Bastia court upholds the ban, terming it justified on public order grounds - file photo AFP