The Madhya Pradesh High Court has held the ceremonial gift given to a visiting dignitary in the Gurudwara cannot be said to be an offence within the purview of the MP Government’s notification as it was not carried in a public place.
The sword was gifted to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan when he visited the Gurudwara at Bhopal on occasion of the 350th Birth Anniversary of Guru Govind Singhji but such sword was not carried in a public place.
The court held “Gurudwara, though is open to public, is not a public place, it is a private place where there is a Prakash of Gurugranth Sahib”.
The MP Government’s notification dated 22/11/1974 prohibits acquisition, possession or carrying of a sharp edged weapon with a blade more than 6 inches long or 2 inches wide and spring actuated knives with a blade of any size in a public place.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Atul Sreedharan observed “it is customary in Gurudwaras to present Siropa to the visiting dignitaries which consist of sometimes a shawl and sometimes a sword which is of ornamental use”.
While dismissing the appeal the court said “the present is a case of misguided person who has filed this petition”.
The appellant challenged the single bench order that dismissed his petition wherein a direction was sought to register an FIR in this matter.
Read the Order here.