A Sikh man says his Charter rights were violated when he was not allowed to take his ceremonial dagger into the Calgary courthouse.
Tejinder Sidhu, 25, had been summoned to court Monday by subpoena to testify as a witness to a fatal car accident.
Sidhu was stopped at the airport-style security screening, which greets all visitors to the Calgary Courts Centre that opened last fall. An Alberta sheriff told him he would have to leave his kirpan at security or he couldn't enter the building.
Baptized orthodox Sikh men carry the small ceremonial dagger under their clothes as a symbol of their religious beliefs.
Sidhu offered to be escorted in to testify if he could keep his kirpan, but that was rejected.
"I don't feel that I should be asked to remove it — especially being a witness to a case — I'm being basically denied my civil duty or my civil right … to testify in court," Sidhu told CBC News.
"So after basically debating for about five, 10 minutes, basically, I just left the courthouse and was unable to fulfil my civic right or my civic duty." [Link]
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