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Thursday 11 October 2023

Sikh Leader Jatinder Singh Bassi Faces Discrimination in Jury Service Due to Kirpan

The recent incident involving Jatinder Singh Bassi has left the Sikh community in dismay and profound concern. Mr. Bassi, a respected figure within the Sikh community, was unexpectedly barred from jury service solely due to his kirpan. This situation is particularly confounding as Mr. Bassi had previously fulfilled jury duty while wearing the kirpan without encountering any complications.

Jatinder Singh Bassi, a prominent figure in the Sikh community, has served as the President at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Smethwick, and as the Secretary General of the Sikh Council UK. His active involvement in community service and leadership positions underscores the positive contributions Sikhs make to society.

The Sikh Council UK is calling upon the Justice Minister to urgently investigate this matter and address the unjustified discrimination faced by Mr. Bassi. The incident raises questions about the consistency in applying policies regarding religious articles such as the kirpan, which is an integral and non-negotiable article of faith for Sikhs.

Sikhs have long faced discrimination, and this incident highlights the urgent need for systemic change. The Sikh Council UK is advocating for a thorough review of HM Courts and Tribunals Service policies to ensure that religious accommodations are respected and that no individual is unfairly hindered from participating in civic duties such as jury service.

Sikh Council UK emphasises that such incidents not only infringe upon the rights of Sikhs but contribute to a broader culture of discrimination that must be eradicated. Sikh Council UK is committed to working with relevant authorities to foster understanding and implement measures to end unnecessary discrimination against Sikhs and individuals from other religious communities.

Manmagun Singh Randhawa
Spokesperson, Sikh Council UK