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Turban "RIGHTS" in Punjab !

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Sikhs in custody can wear patka

Our High CourtCorrespondent

Chandigarh, July 17

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Punjab Government to permit Sikhs who are in police custody to wear patka henceforth.

Disposing of the petition filed by the Sikh Students Federation (SSF), seeking directions to the Punjab Government and prison authorities to allow Sikhs lodged in jails to wear turbans, the Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Mr Justice H.S. Bedi agreed with the stand of the government that the length of the "patka" should not be more than half-a-metre square in size.

In its petition, the SSF had alleged that Sikh prisoners in various jails of Punjab were not being allowed to wear turbans, which are mandated as part of the Sikh religion. The petitioner had also stated that many complaints in this regard have been made to the Punjab Government, jail authorities as also the National Commission of Minorities (NCM). But, no action has been initiated in this regard.

Today, the Bench was informed that the Additional Director-General of Police (Crime), Punjab, had in a communication dated July 7 sought comments from the police chiefs of various districts about the plea made on behalf of the petitioner.

The police officers in the field suggested that "patka" of half-a-metre square size could be allowed for the Sikh accused while in police lock-up. The copy of the letter was also submitted to the bench which disposed of the PIL.

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