U.S. Judge Apologizes To Sikh Who Was Asked To Remove His “Hat” In Courtroom


CHICAGO – A judge in the United States sent a personal apology letter to Hardeep Singh, a Sikh who was asked to remove his ‘hat’ in the courtroom.

Manmeet Singh, from a Sikh NGO called United Sikhs in U.S., narrated the story of Hardeep Singh who is a resident of Battle Creek, Michigan. While Hardeep was accompanying his friend to the court hearing in the Kalamazoo County Probate Court in October of 2012, he was asked to remove his ‘hat’.

Hardeep made attempts to save his turban, which is a soul part of his religion, saying that was not just an ordinary hat. A couple’s effort to stop this from happening also failed. The judge asked Hardeep to either leave the courtroom or remove his turban, subsequent to which he preferred leaving the room.

The episode was termed as a shocking one for all Sikhs as they could not believe the judge’s rudeness.

After the incident, the Department of Justice witnessed a Civil Rights Complaint filed by the United Sikhs legal team. “After persistent advocacy, positive results have been achieved,” said a team member.

Further, he said, “We are humbled to announce another civil rights policy advocacy victory resulting in the modification of court procedures in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, to recognize the Sikh religious practices”

Singh also told that this support has led to a new policy for giving space to one’s religious attire and headwear in Kalamazoo County Probate Court in Michigan.

The apology letter, non discrimination policy of scared outfits of a person including their headwear and the new complaint stood as all the positive steps in order to bring the right changes for this issue. “The new policy and complaint form will benefit not only Sikhs, but also Jews, Muslims and people of other faiths who wear some sort of head covering or religious attire” said Singh.