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Plea for new dress code for advocates

Plea for new dress code for advocates

Kochi: The Kerala High Court Friday issued notices to the Centre and Bar Council of India on a PIL seeking to do away with the present attire of advocates which it dubbed as 'colonial hangover' and bring in a new dress code in tune with climatic conditions.

The notices were issued by Justice P R Ramachandra Menon on a petition by Vincent Panikulangara, a practising advocate. He also wanted the rules relating to the present dress code to be declared as illegal and unenforceable.

The petitioner also sought a direction to the Centre to appoint a Commission of Inquiry under Section 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1952 to enquire into and suggest appropriate dress code for advocates.

It was submitted that the temperature in Kerala was nearly 40 degree Celsius during summer. Two weeks ago the day time temperature was almost 42 degrees Celsius in certain parts.

There are about 25,000 lawyers, including 5,000 women practising in various courts in Kerala. Nearly 5000 lawyers including 1000 women, practise in the High Court, the court halls of which are air conditioned. Nearly, 20,000 lawyers practise in the 80 other court centres where no court room is airconditioned, he said.

Black clothes absorb more heat causing immense inconvenience to advocates in the state, the petitioner said, adding that the present dress code 'blindly' follows the British colonial heritage, despite six decades of independence.


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