HC dressing-down for dist court lawyers: Wear proper dress

With white sneakers substituting for black formal shoes and denims for formal trousers, some of the advocates in the Chandigarh district courts are donning an altogether different look. Their experiments, however, have come under the scanner of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which has directed them to ensure that their official dress is as per the laid down rules.

"It has been noticed by the honourable Chief Justice and honourable Judges of this court that some advocates while appearing in the subordinate courts do not wear proper dress," said a circular issued by the Registrar General, Punjab and Haryana High Court. The circular, dated August 12, directed the advocates to wear the dress as prescribed by the High Court Rules and Orders.

Most of the lawyers seem to be fine with the circular directing their brethren to dress properly. "There is nothing wrong in being asked to dress properly. After all, it is a court and and the decorum of the court should be maintained," said an advocate of the district court.

Footwear is one part of the dressing that is most experimented by the lawyers. From floaters to canvas shoes and to sneakers, some of them can be seen sporting all of it.

Some of them are smart enough to sport their casuals in a manner that can confuse the most versatile designers. A lawyer was seen in a white-collared T-shirt along with black denims and a pair of sports shoes. However, the inseparable lawyer's band was worn elegantly along with a black blazer.

The Bar Council of India Rules prescribe strict regulations about the advocates' dress code. An advocate has no choice in the matter of dress while appearing in court and may not be permitted to appear if incorrectly attired.

Advocates appearing in the Supreme Court, high court, subordinate courts, tribunals or authorities must wear the dress as prescribed. Male advocates must wear a black buttoned-up coat, chapkan, achkan or a black sherwani, and white bands with advocate's gown or a black open-breasted coat, white shirt, white collar, stiff or soft, and white bands with advocate's gown. In either case long trousers (white, black striped or grey) or dhoti must be worn.

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