Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sikh Battles Over Drivers License Photo In France

The Sikh News Sentinel yesterday and Tuesday covered the ongoing legal battle in France over whether Sikh men can wear their turbans in their drivers' license identity photos. Originally authorities cited a 1999 Interior Ministry order and required Shingara Mann Singh to remove his turban for the photo. But then, the Council of State, France's highest administrative body, ruled that only the Transport Ministry had authority over drivers' licenses, and its 1999 decree was not precise enough to justify refusing Singh's request for a photo with his turban on. But a day later the Transport Ministry cured the imprecision in its decree and specifically said that it would now apply the Interior Ministry's edict to drivers licenses. Singh's lawyer, Patrice Spinosi, said he would take the case back to the Council of State, and if he loses there, would go on to other tribunals, even the European Court of Human Rights.