Home > Public space > Italy > 2009-02-19 - Criminal Court of Cremona, n. 799/08

2009-02-19 - Criminal Court of Cremona, n. 799/08

Public space · Italy · Religious practices · Religious symbol

An Indian national of Sikh religion allowed to carry a kirpan

Key facts of the case - The case concerned a Sikh who had been taken into custody for breaching Article 4 of Act no. 110/1975 of 18 April 1975 (According to these provisions, 110 of 18 April 1975, concerning the control of weapons, ammunitions and explosives, weapons or objects aimed to hurt may not be taken out of one’s home or its premises without a justified reason) by wearing a kirpan in a shopping mall.
In a shopping centre in Cremona an Indian national of Sikh religion was approached by police because of carrying a sword: the kirpan.

Main reasoning of the court - The Criminal Court of Cremona acquitted the man of Sikh religion of the crime to carry a weapon or an object, though not conventionally a weapon, which can be employed as one. The carrying of a kirpan sword is included in the profession of the Sikh religion. The Court considered the carrying of a kirpan as an expression of one’s religious faith and recognised the religious character of carrying it as a justified reason to exclude the crime. In its decision, the court also took into account a certificate issued by the Embassy of India, confirming that the Sikhs regard the kirpan as a symbol of resistance to evil, which must always be worn in a visible way.