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Dress code in Himachal high court? No jeans, checked shirts for litigants

The court directed the state’s chief secretary to issue directives to all government officials to dress appropriately while appearing in courts or office.

india Updated: Aug 06, 2017 10:54 IST
ashok bagriya
ashok bagriya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Dress Code,Himachal Pradesh high court,Shimla
High court of Himachal Pradesh takes exception to a woman official appearing before it wearing jeans, checked shirt. (Shutterstock image for representational purpose )

Wearing jeans, checked shirt or a colorful printed sari to a courtroom can ‘undermine the majesty of law’ and land one in trouble.

More so, if the person is a government official.

High court of Himachal Pradesh in Shimla recently laid down the dress code for litigants, especially government officials, after taking exception to a woman officer appearing before it wearing jeans and checked shirt.

The high court directed the state’s chief secretary to issue necessary directions to all government officials to dress appropriately while appearing in courts or office.

A division bench of the court comprising justices Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Ajay Mohan Goel said, “Every litigant appearing before the court is expected to be dressed in a modest manner so as to maintain decorum. After all being appropriately dressed only induces a seriousness of purpose and a sense of decorum which is highly conducive for the dispensation of justice.”

Ruing that people were dressing in a casual fashion while attending the court, it said, “Of late there has been lamentable slackness in matters of litigants attire, more particularly, government officers and officials appearing before this court and precipitates sartorial inelegance and judicial indecorum and undermines the majesty of law.”

This order was passed by the court after a junior engineer wore a jeans and multi colored checked shirt to the court.

The court termed her dressing “appalling” after she informed that she wore those dresses even to work.

Emphasising the importance of correct dressing in its order, the court added: “Judges and magistrates play a pivotal role in the administration of justice and that is why they wear specific dress prescribed by the rules framed by the high court. This dress is worn compulsorily in order to maintain the dignity and decorum of the court and, therefore, we see no reason why any litigant, more particularly, government officers and officials should be improperly or inappropriately dressed while appearing before the court.”

This is, however, not the first instance of the ‘dress code’ being imposed by a high court.

In April, this year the Jharkhand high court too had disapproved of the ‘colourful printed sari’ worn to court by the state chief secretary.

The court not only pulled up the officer but also asked the government to frame a dress code for government officials.

Subsequently, the Jharkhand government came out with a notification that bans government servants from wearing jeans, fancy shirt, T-shirt or any other colorful dress to courts.

First Published: Aug 05, 2017 17:33 IST