Italian Sikh to move European Court of Justice in kirpan ban. Jatinder Singh, a Sikh whom the Italian Supreme Court of Cessation ordered not to wear a kirpan in public and also ordered him to pay a 2,000 Euros in fine, is all set to take his case to the European Court of Justice.
Meanwhile, confusion abounds over the Italian court’s kirpan ban order, whether it was for an individual Sikh or for the entire Sikh community there. Italy-based Sikhi Sewa Society president Jagjit Singh said other Sikhs in Italy continue to wear a symbolic 4cm (1.6 inch) kirpan. Legal experts opine that in the absence of the judgment their presumption of the court’s order was based on media reports.Jagjit said the court had ruled in a particular case filed by Jatinder, who was caught wearing an 18-cm ( nearly 7 inches) kirpan on March 6, 2013 while leaving his home in Goito in northern Italy. He further informed that the Italian High Cessation Court slapped a 2,000 euros fine on Jatinder on February 5, 2015. Jatinder appealed in the upper court. The Supreme Court of Cessation, the highest court in Italy, banned him from carrying kirpan in public and ruled that migrants in the western world must also conform to the values of the society they had chosen to settle in.
“There is no clear rule on the length of blade of kirpan which Sikhs can wear in Italy. Generally every baptized Sikh wears a 4-cm kirpan,” Jagjit said.While seeking the case to be referred to UN Human Rights Committee, legal director of United Sikhs, Mejinderpal Kaur said, “It’s regrettable that the Italian Supreme Court judgment is based on the view that immigrants should live in ‘Rome as Romans do’ when religious freedom is global and across borders.”She added that press reports suggested that the Supreme Court’s decision would bind any Sikh wearing a kirpan in Italy. Mejinderpal said Sikhs in Italy had two choices — convince the Sikh man in the instant case to take the matter before the UN Human Rights Committee or persuade the government to provide a statutory exemption for carrying of a kirpan.
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