SC Refuses to Interfere with French Law on Sikh Rights

May 14, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Times of India

A Sikh forum on Tuesday presented an impossible task before the Supreme Court — to extend its jurisdiction to France to protect religious rights of the community, perceived to be under threat from a local law banning exhibition of religious symbols by citizens.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran and Mukundakam Sharma chuckled at the suggestion but tried to reason it out with petitioner 'Singh Legal Forum' that it was a matter for the ministry of external affairs to take up with the French government and that the apex court had no role to play.

Petitioner's counsel persisted with the plea for relief from the SC on the ground that there was no tangible help from the government and there had been no let up in the implementation of the rigorous French law, which was enacted in 2004 and was hurting the religious sentiments of a sizeable number of Sikhs in France.