Irvine apologises after Royal Courts refuse Sikh entry

The security men at the Royal Courts of Justice are at the centre of a row after banning a solicitor wearing a six-inch dagger.

Anup Singh Choudry, senior partner at London firm Singh & Choudry, was wearing his kirpan, a ceremonial sword carried by baptised Sikhs, when he attempted to enter the courts.

But guards banned him when they discovered the dagger.

Now Choudry has received an apology from the Lord Chancellor.

In a letter sent out earlier this month, Lord Irvine apologised for the courts' mistake.

Two years ago, the Lord Chancellor's Department gave special exemption to both male and female Sikhs allowing them to carry daggers in court. The ruling, unknown to the High Court officials, permits Sikhs to wear daggers no longer than six inches.

Choudry says: “They stopped me at the security checks – it was quite embarrassing and so I thought about complaining. The sword is one of the five mandatory symbols of the religion and every baptised Sikh must wear one.”