CJI Notifies Relaxation in the Dress Code for the Legal Fraternity Amid COVID-19

In the wake of coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court notified relaxation in the dress code; for lawyers appearing before the court via video conferencing. Earlier today Chief Justice of India hinted at Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal that instructions would soon be released from the Supreme Court; asking lawyers and judges to not wear robes or gowns to curb the transmission of COVID-19.

As a precautionary measure to contain the transmission of Coronavirus infection the Supreme Court took certain measures. A circular issued by the Secretary-General of the Supreme Court implied that advocates may wear “plain white-shirt/white-salwar-kameez/ white saree, with a plain white neckband” during the hearings before the Supreme Court of India; through Virtual Court System until medical crisis exists or until further orders.

Interestingly, Kapil Sibal raised the issue when a Supreme Court bench took up a fresh petition; seeking directions for the government to completely ban WhatsApp’s payment services via video conferencing. The bench comprised of CJI Bobde with Justices Indu Malhotra and Hrishikesh Roy. Notably, Senior Advocate Sibal, appearing for the petitioner, desired to know why the Bench was not in judges’ robes. Thereafter, CJI Bobde said that the gowns and robes remain more exposed to the novel coronavirus. Accordingly, the bench issued instructions about the dress code for all in the legal fraternity with immediate effect.

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