Coronavirus pandemic has made people ditch their normal practices, bringing about necessary changes to fend off the deadly virus, which has no cure as yet. Just as the Supreme Court of India has decided to cut its 7-week summer vacation, which was to start from May 17, in order to continue working through video-conferencing to make up for lost time, an important change was ordered by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde.
New dress code for judges, lawyers
During a court hearing of a Public Interest Litigation, CJI Bobde ordered a new dress code for judges and lawyers, who will be ditching their traditional black gowns and coats for an all-white attire. An official order was issued in the matter, advising advocates to wear "plain white-shirt/white-salwar-kameez/ white saree, with a plain- white neck band."
The decision to avoid wearing black coats and gowns has been issued in interest of preventing COVID-19 exposure. According to CJI Bobde, black coats and gowns are more vulnerable to coronavirus infections.
"As a precautionary measure to contain spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection under the prevailing conditions, the Competent Authority has been pleased to direct that the advocates may wear "plain white-shirt/white-salwar-kameez/ white saree, with a plain- white neck band" during the hearings before the Supreme Court of India through Virtual Court System till medical exigencies exist or until further orders," a mandate read.
Even as the video-conferencing hearings continue in wake of maintaining social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the judges resumed their hearings in courtrooms from Tuesday. The respondents, however, are still not allowed to go to courthouses as they may join the video conference.
The justices and advocates adhered to the new mandate as they appeared in all-white attire.