JALANDHAR: In a major blow to Sikhs in Europe, the European Court of Human Rights has upheld a French ban on turbans by dismissing the first petition
filed against it. France had passed a law in 2004, prohibiting religious symbols in schools.
The judgment, which came close on the heels of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh raising the issue with French president Nicolas Sarkozy, was communicated to the lawyers of NGO United Sikhs, who had filed the petition on behalf of Jasvir Singh, on Thursday. It does not require France to respond to Jasvir's legal arguments.
Last December, the NGO had filed another petition before the United Nations Human Rights Committee on behalf of Bikramjit Singh, who was expelled from school along with Jasvir Singh when they refused to remove their turbans. France has filed a response to Bikramjit's claim.