Danish court confirms ban on Sikh carrying ceremonial knife
Oct 24, 2006, 13:56 GMT
Copenhagen - A Danish court ruled Tuesday that it was illegal for a Sikh man to carry the 'kirpan' ceremonial knife that he traditionally gets at baptism.
The Eastern High Court said that although Indian national Ripudaman Singh wore the blunt knife as a 'religious symbol,' it was still a violation of a ban on bearing weapons, including knives, except for carrying out a trade, hunting, fishing or other recreational activities.
The court, however, ruled that Ripudaman Singh did not have to pay a 3,000 kroner (505 dollars) fine that a lower court ordered him to pay last year.
The ceremonial knife that Ripudaman Singh carried concealed under his clothes was detected two years ago when he visited the US embassy in Copenhagen and presented it at a security check.
Police were summoned and the case went to prosecution. The high court said the ruling did not violate the European Convention on Human Rights.
The six-panel court also ruled that the 18-centimetre knife should remain confiscated, although one of three lay judges wanted to hand the knife back to the defendant.© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur