The Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a notice to the Haryana home secretary in the case of an Ambala session judge not recording the statements of a Sikh (baptized) in a murder trial just because he wore a ‘kirpan’ to court.
Justice Augustine George Masih took up the petition of Dilawar Singh of Kainth Mainthri village in Ambala district and fixed 12 May for hearing of the petition.
According to Singh, he was a vital witness in a murder case registered at the Ambala police station last December. The trial is pending before the Ambala sessions court.
He said when he went to the court of sessions judge Deepak Gupta, he was told no uncertain terms that his statements would not be recorded if he did not remove his ‘kirpan’. The sessions judge asked Singh to come to court without his ‘kirpan’.
“The order is illegal and breaches the religious freedom granted to him under Article 25 of the Constitution,” he said. He asked the HC to quash the April 18 orders. Singh, in support of his claims, quoted several judgements of various courts which Sikhs’ right to carry a kirpan as been upheld as a fundamental right.
The high court issued a notice to Haryana home secretary asking him to file a reply on the issue raised by the petitioner.