Orissa High Court imposed 500 Rs fine on lawyer for not wearing band and noted, “Court is duty-bound to restore the dignity of the profession.”

Orissa High Court imposed 500 Rs fine on lawyer for not wearing band and noted, “Court is duty-bound to restore the dignity of the profession.”

Orissa High Court imposed 500 Rs fine on lawyer for not wearing band and noted, “Court is duty-bound to restore the dignity of the profession.”

The Orissa High Court recently imposed a fine of five hundred rupees on a lawyer who appeared before the Court without wearing a band.

While imposing the cost, the High Court noted that it is “duty-bound to restore the the dignity of the profession including the prescribed dress code.”

During the virtual hearing, Justice S.K. Panigrahi observed that the “profession is solemn in nature and its profundity is complemented by its attire. Being an Advocate, he is expected to appear before the Court in a dignified manner with proper dress, even if it is a virtual mode.”

The Court was dealing with a matter where the accused was charged under Sections 363, 366A, 376(3) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 6 of the POCSO Act. Due to the pandemic, the matter was being taken up through video conferencing. (Bijaya Majhi v. State of Orissa)

During the course of the hearing, it was pointed out that the learned counsel for the informant “does not wear neckband at the time of argument, which clearly reveals that the said counsel has violated the dress code prescribed under the Advocates Act.”

Every profession has certain dress code and people belong to particular profession are recognized by their attires. The lawyers’ dress code is governed by the rules prescribed under the Advocates Act, 1961, making it mandatory for lawyers to wear black robe or coat with white shirt and white neck band. The Rule framed under Section 49(1)(gg) of the Advocates Act, 1961 prescribes the dress code for Advocates irrespective of designated Senior Advocates or other Advocates.

Further, the Court noted that professionalism is one of the most important aspect of the professional. It was observed that “the etiquette, courtier and attire are subtle indicators of erudition and professionalism especially for lawyers and this strongly influences people’s perception on the profession. The profession is solemn in nature and its profundity is complemented by its attire.”

While adjourning the matter till next week, the Court directed the lawyer to “deposit an amount of Rupees 500 as cost with the Welfare Fund of High Court Bar Association” and further stated that “receipt thereof be filed before this Court by the next date.”

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