HH Sant Baba Jeet Singh Ji Maharaj v Eastern Media Group and Another: QBD 17 May 2010

The claimant, a Sikh religious leader complained of defamation in a Sikh journal in England. The defendant said the claim was non-justiciable since it required the court to pronouce on a matter of religious doctrine.
Held: The plea of non-justiciability succeeded, and the claim was stayed. Eady J said: ‘the allegation of ‘impostor’ cannot be divorced from questions of Sikh doctrine and practice. Of course, I recognise that if an allegation were made of someone, who happened to be a religious leader, that he had his hand in the till, or assaulted a follower, this could be determined separately and without reference to religious doctrine or status, but that is far from this case. The issue whether this Claimant is or is not fairly described as an ‘impostor’ cannot be isolated and resolved without reference to Sikh doctrines and traditions.’


Eady J


[2010] EWHC 1294 (QB)




England and Wales


CitedSulaiman v Juffali FD 9-Nov-2001
A talaq pronounced in England as between parties who were Saudi nationals was not to be recognised in English law as a valid extra judicial overseas divorce, even though it otherwise complied with Sharia law. Section 44(1)(a) provides that no . .
CitedBlake v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 31-Jul-2003
The claimant, a former Anglican priest, sued in defamation. The defendant argued that the claim was non-justiciable since it would require the court to adjudicate on matters of faith and religious doctrine.
Held: The claim could not be heard. . .

Cited by:

CitedKhaira and Others v Shergill and Others CA 17-Jul-2012
The parties disputed the trusteeship and governance of two Gurdwaras (Sikh temples). The defendants now applied for the claim to be struck out on the basis that the differences were as to Sikh doctrines and practice and as such were unjusticiable. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Ecclesiastical

Updated: 19 August 2022; Ref: scu.416606