High Court Rules Against Full Turbans for Sikhs in Prison

July 18, 2006

Source: Monsters and Critics

Wire Service: IANS


On July 18, 2006 the Indo-Asian News Service reported, "The Punjab and Haryana High court has disallowed full-sized turbans for Sikh prisoners inside prisons, saying they would be permitted to wear only an under-turban or patka. The judgment came Monday on a petition moved by the Punjab-based Sikh Students Federation seeking permission for Sikh prisoners to wear full turban - about 9-metres long - while undergoing prison terms. The federation had contended that the turban was part of the Sikh religious attire and was mandatory for every Sikh. The court, however, agreed with the Punjab government counsel who argued that the full-sized turban could be a security risk inside the prison. The court ordered that Sikh prisoners be allowed to wear only an under-turban, which should not be more than half a square metre in size. Federation leaders said that they would approach the Supreme Court against the court order. They said not allowing Sikhs to wear turbans in prisons in their home state Punjab was against the tenets of the Sikh religion."