The Covid-19 outbreak is forcing changes in habit—even in the Supreme Court. On Wednesday, the top court exempted lawyers appearing in virtual hearings from wearing the customary black coat and black robe in what it termed is a “precautionary measure to contain spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection”.
A circular issued by the top court said advocates “may wear ‘plain white-shirt/white-salwar-kameez/ white-saree with a plain-white neck band’ during the hearings” before the SC through Virtual Court System “till medical exigencies exist or under further orders”. This was being done “considering the medical advice”.
Earlier in the day, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde and Justices Indu Malhotra and Hrishikesh Roy held the virtual court without wearing the black coat or black robe. They, however, had their white neckband on.
While hearing a matter, the CJI informed senior advocate Kapil Sibal that they had let go of the jacket and robe as experts had advised that such kind of clothing may not be in keeping with containment protocol.
The CJI said even lawyers should desist from wearing these for now, adding that instructions in this regard will be issued soon.
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