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- In 2001, the Gurbajs cloth-wrapped dagger came loose from around his waist
and fell to the ground. The principal ordered the 12 year old to remove the
kirpan, but the student left the school instead.
- In 2002, the school sent a letter home telling a students family that the
student would not be allowed back into the school unless he traded the
kirpan for a plastic replica or something similar.
- The Quebec Superior court ruled in 2002 that Gurbaj Singh could wear the
kirpan, but had some stipulations.
o Must be sheathed in a wooden case wrapped in heavy fabric
o Must be worn under his clothes
o The belt holding the dagger must be sewn onto his clothing.
o Singh could also be subject to inspection by school officials at any
- The Parti Quebecois appealed the decision, and in 2004, the Quebec Court of
Appeal struck down the decision of the superior court, ruling that the kirpan
had the makings of a weapon and was dangerous.
o The court said that although the weapon was a hindrance to freedom
of religion, the court ruled that community safety comes first.
- On March 2, 2006, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the ruling.
o The court said that under the conditions of the Superior court, the
kirpan is almost totally stripped of its objectively dangerous
characteristicsaccess to the kirpanis now fully impeded by the
cloth envelope sewn around the wooden sheath. In these
circumstances, the argument relating to safety can no longer
reasonably succeed.
o Also stated that there is no suggestion that the kirpan is a weapon of
violence or that the 12 year old intended to use it as one.