Gauhati HC Throws Out Advocate For Wearing Jeans During Hearing

Gauhati HC

The Gauhati High Court on Friday called the police and threw out Senior Advocate from court premises after he arrived wearing jeans while appearing before the bench. Senior Advocate Bijan Kumar Mahajan was representing a petitioner in an anticipatory bail case.

According to the Advocates Act of 1961, all practising lawyers must wear a black coat or robe over a white shirt with a neckband when attending or making submissions in court proceedings. The Bar Council of India (BCI) Rules on Professional Standards reiterates the same, adding that advocates should always be presentable in court.

The unexpected turn of events was also recorded by Justice Kalyan Rai Surana in his order, which has been directed to be filed with the Chief Justice as well as the Bar Councils of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Court’s order stated that “The case has been adjourned today because Mr. B.K. Mahajan, learned counsel for the petitioner, is dressed in jeans. Therefore, the Court had to request that police decourt him outside the High Court campus.

In recent years, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of virtual court proceedings, there have been several departures from the conventional dress codes prescribed for lawyers, which has drawn strong criticism and counter-measures.

Last year, the Supreme Court refused to hear a petition seeking a relaxation of the dress code for lawyers during the summer season.

Meanwhile, the question of what litigants should wear to court was recently debated, in view of incidents in which the courts chastised parties for appearing in inappropriate attire.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte