Kerala

HC relaxes dress code for lawyer

He can appear sans gown in lower court

The Kerala High Court on Thursday allowed a lawyer from Thiruvananthapuram to appear in lower courts without wearing gown, providing him partial relief in the sweltering summer.

Justice Shaji P. Chaly, however, made it clear that the lawyer should wear the other attires as specified by the Kerala High Court rules on the dress code for advocates.

The relief was given to J.M. Deepak in an interim order. According to his petition, he was not allowed to address the Additional Sessions Judge I, Thiruvananthapuram, in a case despite wearing white shirt and black tie, a dress code prescribed by the Bar Council of India (BCI). The judge, taking objection to his dress, pointed out that he had not worn the attires as prescribed under Rule 12 of the Kerala High Court rules.

The petitioner pointed out that the BCI had amended the rules relating to the dress code in 2002. As per the amended rules, a lawyer appearing before a lower court during summer season could wear white shirt with black or striped or grey pant with black tie or band and collar.

The amendment was later approved by the Chief Justice of India. The BCI had also later clarified that except in the Supreme Court and High Courts, wearing a black coat was not mandatory during summer.

In fact, the new dress code of the BCI had an “overriding effect” over the rules framed by the High Court on the dress code.

He also pointed out that as the State was reeling under a scorching summer, the life of of lawyers appearing in the lower courts had become miserable. Thus, wearing of gowns and coats would only add to their miserable condition.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 10:59:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hc-relaxes-dress-code-for-lawyer/article26739095.ece

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