Melbourne: A court in Australia’s Queensland state has overturned a law that banned Sikh students from wearing a kirpan on the campus, calling the legislation “unconstitutional”, according to media reports.
The ruling by the state’s highest court came after Kamaljit Kaur Athwal took the state government to court last year, claiming that the ban discriminated against the kirpan — one of five religious symbols that Sikhs are supposed to carry at all times as part of their faith.
The Queensland Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that “the ban is unconstitutional under the Racial Discrimination Act,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
An initial court ruling dismissed the claim that the act was discriminatory but now after an appeal, there has been a win for the Sikh faith.
Bill Potts from Potts Lawyers, Queensland, said the original legislation meant Sikhs “were not able to go to school, not able to…effectively carry out their religion”.
Potts said the overturning of the law was giving freedom back to those practising the faith and was a “great step forward”.
“This just simply means that they have the same freedom that everybody else has and are not discriminated against by the state legislation,” he said.