Sunday, October 1, 2023

Delhi High Court revises dress code for advocates, judicial officers in district courts

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The High Court of Delhi has revised the dress code for advocates and judicial officers in district courts of Delhi through substitution of Rule 30 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, High Court Rules & Orders (Volume IV).

Noting that the dress code should commensurate with the dignity of office, the High Court directed males to wear a white shirt, white/grey trousers, black coat, white band and females to wear white/black, half/full sleeved, blouse/shirt, sarees white/black/combination of both, pants/long skirt (white/black/grey), salwar churidar, white collar (soft/stiff), white band and full sleeved coat. 

Earlier, Rule 30 provided different dress codes for judicial officers (female), district & sessions judge, and subordinate judges.

A circular issued by the High Court on June 2 said that in line with the direction of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, his companion judges and earlier circular bearing no II/Rules/OHC dated August 7, 2009, the dress code of judicial officers and advocates has been revised, to ensure that it was at par with the dress code provided by the Bar Council of India (BCI) Rules. 

The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh had directed in February this year that all the Advocates appearing before the courts, whether civil or Supreme Court, should be present in proper uniform with white band. 

The Bench further pointed out that law interns should adhere to the dress code of white shirt, pants, black coat and black tie.

A petition was filed by second-year law student Hardik Kapoor, challenging the Shahdara Bar Association (SBA) notification on November 24 last year, which mandated interns to wear blue coats in Karkardooma Court, failing which their entry was not permitted. 

The Counsel representing Kapoor argued that the notification did not have a legal standing, and was ultra vires. He pointed out that only the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) was a competent authority to prescribe uniforms for advocates, judicial officers and interns, which was already provided under Rule 27 of Bar Council of India Rules of Education, 2008.

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