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Madras High Court tells Bar Council to direct Lawyers not to wear Advocate’s black coat, gown, neckband during strikes

The Madras High Court on Wednesday passed an interim order to restrain lawyers from donning the advocate’s black gown/coat and neckband while participating in strikes and like demonstrations.

The Madurai Bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and B Pugalendhi passed the order today while observing that the lawyer’s gown, which can be worn only within the court campus, cannot be taken advantage of by advocates who participate in strikes carried out in the streets.

Therefore, it has directed the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to direct advocates not to wear the advocate’s black gown and neck band during such protests.

The interim order was passed on a petition moved by advocate B Ramkumar Adityan to ensure that advocates maintain a proper dress code during court proceedings and to restrain them from wearing the lawyer’s neckband and gown during strikes, boycotts, and agitations.

The petitioner submitted that on the one hand, some advocates are found to use their own mode of dress and not appearing in proper dress code during Court proceedings.

Even, few of the Female Public Prosecutors in subordinate courts also do not attend court in uniform which casts a bad impression and diminishes the majesty of law“, the petition reads.

The petition underscored further that,

Dress code is a symbol of the dignity, honour, wisdom and justice and these are the values which any Advocate has to keep up with. Every Advocate needs to maintain the grace and the dignity of the profession. One cannot wear a “T” shirt and a “Jean” and come to Court, the Temple of Justice.

Various representations have also been addressed to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry over such issues in the past years, the petitioner informs.

Further, concern was raised that advocates participating in strikes, boycotts of courts and road agitations wear their gown and neckband, although such demonstrations are the antithesis of their obligations under the Advocates’ Act, 1961. This must be strictly avoided, the petitioner contended.

In view of these observations, the petitioner has urged the Madras High Court to pass directions so that the Bar Council of India and the State Bar Council ensures that:

  • All the advocates maintain proper dress code during court proceedings; and
  • Lawyers do not wear advocates’ neckband and gown during strikes, boycotts, and agitations.

Advocate S Krishnan appeared for the petitioner today. The petition was filed through Advocate G Sureshkumar. The Court has also issued notice in the matter.

Via Bar & Bench
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