Delhi High Court: In a petition filed by a second-year law student, Hardik Kapoor who is stated to be working as an intern, challenging the impugned notice/circular dated 24-12-2022 issued by Secretary Shahdara Bar Association, Karkardooma Court Complex, Delhi, Prathiba M Singh, J., clarified that the uniform for advocates appearing before any Court right from the City Civil Courts, Sessions Court, District Courts, High Courts and the Supreme Court would be white bands and not black ties, along with their other uniform as prescribed and interns can enter court complexes with a white shirt and black ties along with black pants and black coats.
As per the said impugned notice/circular, the Shahdara Bar Association resolved that interns ought to wear white shirt, blue coat and trousers to enter the Karkardooma Court Complex. Counsel for the Shahdara Bar Association submitted that there is a conflict between the uniform prescribed for advocates under the Rules prescribed by the Bar Council of India (BCI) and Rule 27 of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008. It was also submitted that many Judicial Officers and lawyers appearing before District Courts and Civil Courts wear black ties instead of bands.
The Court noted that the BCI has published rules under Section 49(1)(gg) which reads as ‘Form of dresses or Robes to be worn by Advocates’ in Chapter IV, it is clear that all advocates would have to wear bands right from the City Civil Courts till the Supreme Court. Rule IV is merely a relaxation for wearing a black coat and does not mean that black ties can be worn in courts. This would in effect mean that all advocates would have to, in general, wear white bands while appearing before courts of any hierarchy. Thus, the recent resolution of the BCD dated 16-12-2022, where the BCD has prescribed the uniform, black tie for interns would not conflict with the uniform prescribed for advocates which is the white band.
The Court clarified that the uniform for advocates appearing before any courts right from the City Civil Courts, Sessions Court, District courts, High Courts and Supreme Court would be white bands and not black ties, along with their other uniform as prescribed. Interns can enter court complexes with white shirts and black ties along with black pants and black coats. This would in fact be in consonance with Rule 27 of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008.
Thus, the Court held that the impugned circular of the Shahdara Bar Association would not survive and shall be superseded by the uniform prescribed by the Bar Council of Delhi which would be followed uniformly across Delhi.
[Hardik Kapoor v Bar Council of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 4258, decided on 01-12-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. Ujwal Ghai, Mr. Shivek Rai Kapoor, Mr. Sanchit Saini, Mr. Arpit Sharma & Mr. Bhanu Malhotra, Advocates for the Petitioner;
Mr Sunil K. Kalra, Advocate for R-3.
Mr. Ajay Kumar Aggarwal, Advocate for BCD.
Mr. Preet Pal Singh, Mr. Saurabh Sharma & Mr. Shivam Sachdeva, Advocates for the Respondent.