British school in Sikh student row to foot 200,000 pounds | world | Hindustan Times
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British school in Sikh student row to foot 200,000 pounds

world Updated: Apr 19, 2009 20:13 IST

A British school has been asked to pay a 200,000-pound legal bill, including damages to a Sikh student, in a racial discrimination case over banning her from wearing a religious bangle.

The High Court has ordered the Aberdare Girls’ School in Wales to pay the student banned from wearing the Sikh Kara damages believed to be at least five figures, leading British newspaper the ‘Sunday Express´ reported.

The 200,000 pounds legal bill also includes an invoice from human rights group Liberty, who actually brought the case on behalf of 15-year-old Sarika Watkins-Singh.

In fact, the story dates back to early last year when Singh was excluded from school for her refusal to stop wearing the bangle, which she claimed was fundamental to her religious belief.

Though the school denied any racial discrimination, Singh spent nine weeks being taught in isolation as the bangle was against its uniform policy. She won the case last June, in which her exclusion was ruled to be “unlawful”.

Critics have slammed the massive cost of the case as “a waste of taxpayers’ money” and claimed pupils will “suffer” as a result.

“This case means a headache for the taxpayer who will ultimately be forced to stump up. This just emphasises the need for schools to be given full control of their rules and regimes without risk of politically correct enforcement,” TaxPayers’ Alliance spokesman Mark Wallace said.