Scorching Heat: Lawyers Wish To Give Up Black Coat In Courtroom, Take Plea to SC

   
  • NEW DELHI: A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to exempt lawyers from wearing black coats and gowns in the apex court as well as the high courts across the country during summer.
Supreme Court of India

The petition filed by advocate Shailendra Mani Tripathi also sought direction to the state bar councils to determine the “months of prevailing summer” for each state in order to exempt the wearing of the black coat and gown for those months.

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It has sought a direction to the state bar councils to amend their rules and decide the time period when the lawyers would be exempted from wearing black coats and gowns depending upon the summer peaks in the particular state.

The plea has requested the top court to consider relaxing the traditional dress code for the advocates across the states considering that the same may cause hardships and health issues in the extremity of the growing summer heat.

Wearing coats during torrid summer makes it difficult for the lawyers to move from one court to another, it said.

The top court in 2022 had refused to entertain a plea seeking exemption for lawyers from wearing black coats and gowns in the apex court as well as the high courts across the country during summer.

The apex court had said it cannot entertain the plea under Article 32 and asked the petitioner to approach the Bar Council of India (BCI) with his grievance.

The lawyers’ dress code is governed by the BCI Rules under the Advocates Act, 1961, and they make it mandatory for an advocate to wear a black coat with a white shirt and a white neckband.

Under the rules, wearing an advocate’s gown is optional except when the lawyer is appearing in the Supreme Court or in a high court.

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