Toronto, Apr 23: In what could draw the ire of Sikh groups, a Sikh religious leader was denied entry into the courtroom with kirpan, a Sikh religous symbol, by a Canadian Court on the grounds that it "could be used as a weapon".
"Although Kooner's charter right to freedom of religion may be breached, he will not be allowed to bring his kirpan into the courthouse," Superior Court Justice Steven Rogin said as he disallowed Sukdev Singh Kooner entry into courtroom with kirpan.
"This is especially so because of the excitement and passion this dispute has engendered in the Gurdwara and the fact that the kirpan, although ceremonial, could be used as a weapon," he said.
Windsor police posted extra security in the courtroom as around 100 members of the local Sikh community flocked inside the courtroom to attend the proceeding. Those present did not were thier kirpan inside the court.
Justice Rogin adjourned the case to make way for Kooner to testify outside the court, which is permissible under the law and can be held in places like his lawyer's offices.
However, Koooner, chose to stay outside the courtroom after he was not allowed to enter with his kirpan by the judge.
Kooner, an allergist and honoured leader at a Gurdwara was set to testitfy on Thursday, Apr 22, in connection with a lawsuit filed against him by a rival faction at the Sikh Cultural Society of Metropolitan Windsor.
While Kirpans are allowed in the House of Commons, the Supreme Court building and on trains, they are not allowed on flights.