In a first, Indian-origin turbaned Sikh woman becomes justice of Canada Supreme Court

Palbinder Kaur Shergill, was born in Rurka Kalan in Jalandhar district.

Palbinder Kaur Shergill has become the first turbaned Sikh woman to be appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court in Canada. Shergill has replaced Justice EA Arnold-Bailey who retired on May 31. The announcement was made on Friday by Jody Wilson-Raybould, minister of justice and attorney general of Canada.

Following the appointment, the World Sikh Organisation in Canada extended its greetings to Shergill. “The appointment of Justice Shergill is another milestone for the Sikh community in Canada. It is a matter of great pride that today we have the first turbaned Sikh appointed to the judiciary in Canada,” said Mukhbir Singh, President of the WSO, acording to a Hindustan Times report.

Palbinder Kaur Shergill, was born in Rurka Kalan in Jalandhar district. She migrated to Canada along with her family at the tender age of four. Presently, Shergill resides in Surrey along with her husband, daughter and two sons. She has actively represented the interests of Canadian Sikh community and has fought various cases including the right of Sikh students to wear a ‘kirpan’ in schools.

She has extensive trial and appellate experience and has appeared before courts and tribunals across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Shergill was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2012 and is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Community Service.

Justice Shergill also volunteers as a high school debate coach, plays the tabla and harmonium, and is kicking her way towards a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

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