Advocates in lower courts can shed their coats this summer

News: Advocates in the lower courts, during the summer, can do away with their black coats.

Male advocates can, instead, sport white shirts, black ties and grey/black pants while appearing in court. Their female counterparts can don either sarees or long skirts (white or black or any subdued colour without prints) or churidars or salwar-kurtas with or without dupattas. The dupattas, if worn, must be of black or white hue. But collar bands are compulsory for both male and female lawyers.

However, the new dress code is applicable only for lower courts and not the High Court and the Supreme Court. It will also be in vogue only during the months of March, April and May. Once the summer ends, advocates will have to pull the black coats out of their wardrobes.

Just recently, when a friend and I were on the road and noticed a lawyer driving a 2-wheeler in his complete court attire, we could only feel sorry for him. The terrible heat, the helmet, his formals, and the coat! You can imagine that man’s plight. I can only get myself to wear light-colored loose cotton clothes in the summers here, and to think that these people had to get into a coat!

State Bar Council Chairman Rajendra C Desai told Deccan Herald that advocates, especially those in trial courts, have a hard day and a lot of running around to do. The heat during the summer becomes extremely unbearable and the black coat only adds to their misery.

Well, Duh!

Anyway, when I read the news asking the advocates to lose their coats, I was more than happy for them! Only to see that you had to be in the lower courts. I see that the Supreme Court is fully air-conditioned, but why not allow the High Court advocates to shed their coats too? According to the Bar Council, advocates in the High Court appear in lesser number of cases. Either way, I would think they are uncomfortable in their coats too.

Soon, we will be completing 60 years after independence from the British. Isn’t it time that we really assess some of our age-old practices? Isn’t it time to put an end to all uncomfortable uniforms that mimic the British dress-code, with no regard to the local weather conditions?

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