Endorsing a hardline stand by high priests of Sikhism who barred a young girl admission in a minority institution on grounds that she violated a fundamental tenet of the religion by plucking her eyebrows, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Saturday ruled that the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee was fully justified in doing so.
Leaning on the side of a text-based, more conservative definition of who is a true Sikh and the importance of hair in Sikhism, the full bench of justices JS Khehar, Jasbir Singh and Ajay Kumar Mittal in a 152-page order said keeping unshorn hair was an essential and most fundamental component of the religion.
The order came on a plea by Gurleen Kaur and others who had challenged denial of admission into an MBBS course at the Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Amritsar, a Sikh minority institution, on grounds that they plucked their eyebrows and trimmed their hair.
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