Persons who self-identify as Sikhs but cut, trim or shave their Kaes, or drink or smoke, can no longer vote in elections of Sikh religious institutions.
These transgressions, which have always been considered apostasy in Sikhism, are also explicitly prohibited in the Sikh code of conduct, known as the Rehit Maryaada.
But, on Monday, May 9, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee signed into law an amendment to the 1925 Sikh Gurdwaras Act that establishes apostasy as a voter disqualification. The act regulates the administration of gurdwaras in Chandigarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Punjab.
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act of 1971, which regulates Delhi gurdwaras, already includes these restrictions.