Advocate fined ₹500 for not wearing neckband during online hearing

The Orissa High Court has imposed a fine on an advocate for not wearing the neckband at the time of argument on virtual mode.

During the hearing, Justice S.K. Panigrahi noticed that the advocate had not worn the neckband, which was seen as a violation of the dress code prescribed under the Advocates Act.

“The counsel is directed to deposit an amount of ₹500 as cost with the Welfare Fund of the High Court Bar Association and receipt thereof be filed before this court by the next date,” directed Justice Panigrahi.

“Every profession has a certain dress code and people belonging to the particular profession are recognised by their attire. The lawyers’ dress code is governed by the rules prescribed under the Advocates Act, 1961, making it mandatory for lawyers to wear a black robe or coat with white shirt and white neckband,” he observed in his judgment.

Both the Supreme Court and the High Court had directed advocates to stick to the dress code while appearing through the virtual mode.

“The etiquette 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,” the judgment says.

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 and this court is duty bound to restore the dignity of the profession including the prescribed dress code, Justice Panigrahi observed.

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