HC lawyers Refuse To Wear Black Gowns


Kolkata: Lawyers of Calcutta High Court want to give up wearing black gowns and black coats as essential dress code inside the court-rooms.

The summer has been unbearable this year, a stretch of heat spell in the months of April and May without any respite from the usual April thunderstorm — Kalbaishakhi. Engaging in argument in this hot and humid season has been tortuous, not to mention the court room environment — where heated altercation and even light banter keep the mercury soaring any time of the day and any season.

But, this summer has been different. Having to don a gown and a coat and on top of that a stiff collar, the usual uniform, was practically becoming impossible. So, the lawyers under Bar Association of Calcutta High Court wrote to the Bar Council of India to consider changing the dress code imposed by the British. The chairman of Bar Council of India Prasanta Dutta also feels that it’s time some thoughts are given to the court uniform.

This year, the lawyers had also requested for extending their summer holidays from one week to a fortnight, even though the chief justice and other judges did not approve of it. Some of the courts heard the cases and dismissed the cases of lawyers, who were enjoying the extended vacation.

Things came to such a pass that the Bar Association was planning to boycott four courts including that of the acting chief justice for allegedly making snide remarks. However, Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre met a few senior advocates following which the Bar Association is giving a re-think to their plans.

“Chief justice has assured that no cases will be dismissed and all cases will be heard expeditiously. She told us,” said Association General Secretary Suranjan Dasgupta.

Meanwhile, the issue over the black gown and black coat continue to bother the lawyer fraternity. With the monsoon yet to cool down the temperature, the lawyers are having to sweat it out and literally too.

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