Friday 9 February 2024

Gauhati High Court Rejected Lawyer's Plea Jeans in Court Unacceptable

Gauhati HC Stands Firm: Jeans in Court Unacceptable, Lawyer's Plea Rejected

Guwahati, February 9, 2024: The Gauhati High Court has once again upheld its stance on courtroom attire, refusing to modify an order that removed a lawyer from the premises for wearing jeans during a hearing. The incident, which occurred in January 2023, sparked debate about the appropriate dress code for lawyers in court.

Advocate Bijon Kumar Mahajan had appeared before a single-judge bench seeking pre-arrest bail for a client, dressed in jeans. The judge, objecting to his attire, had ordered the police to escort him out of the court. Unwilling to accept this decision, Mahajan filed an application seeking modification of the order, arguing that jeans were not explicitly prohibited in the Gauhati High Court's dress code rules.

However, Justice Kalyan Rai Surana, who heard the modification application, dismissed it with strong remarks. He expressed concern that allowing jeans in court could open the door to further challenges, potentially leading to lawyers appearing in "torn jeans, faded jeans, jeans with printed patches," or even "black track pants or black pajamas."

The judge emphasized the importance of maintaining decorum and dignity in court proceedings, stating that adherence to a dress code contributes to a professional atmosphere and inspires public confidence in the justice system.

This ruling aligns with the Bar Council of India's dress code guidelines, which mandate formal attire for lawyers appearing in court. While the Gauhati High Court's rules do not explicitly mention jeans, the court has consistently interpreted them as upholding the spirit of professionalism and decorum expected in legal proceedings.

The incident has reignited discussions about dress codes in various professions, with differing opinions on the balance between individual expression and maintaining a professional image. While some argue for a more relaxed approach, others emphasize the importance of upholding tradition and fostering public respect for the legal system.

The Gauhati High Court's firm stance on this issue suggests that the debate on courtroom attire is likely to continue, with courts balancing the need for professionalism with evolving societal norms.

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