Sikh Refuses to Enter Courthouse Because Of Kirpan Ban

April 22, 2010

Author: Sarah Sacheli

Source: The Gazette

A man at the centre of a dispute at a Windsor, Ont., Sikh temple refused to enter a courthouse to testify Thursday after a judge banned him from wearing his ceremonial dagger.

Dr. Sukdev Singh Kooner, an allergist and respected leader at a gurdwara — or place of worship — was scheduled to testify Thursday in a lawsuit launched by a rival faction at the Sikh Cultural Society of Metropolitan Windsor. But Kooner remained outside the courthouse after the judge ruled he couldn't wear his kirpan — a ceremonial dagger worn in devotion to his faith.

"Although Dr. Kooner's charter right to freedom of religion may be breached, he will not be allowed to bring his kirpan into the courthouse," said Superior Court Justice Steven Rogin.