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Opinion

SC angry after man shows up shirtless during online hearing

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Annoyed by a bare-chested attorney adjusting the camera during a videoconference hearing Tuesday, the Supreme Court remarked that attorneys cannot afford to be so reckless because eight months have passed since the Supreme Court has been hearing cases in virtual mode. in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event occurred in the virtual courtroom of the Supreme Court chaired by Judge LN Rao. The judge was listening to a suo moto petition by herself about the condition of child care homes during the pandemic when an image suddenly appeared on the screen of a bare-chested person adjusting the camera of the permanent government attorney from Kerala G Prakash.

The bank called the lawyer who appeared on the screen: “Someone is standing next to you without a shirt.” There was no response from the other end and the next moment, the link with the lawyer could not be established. The person with the naked torso was also a lawyer, ML Jishnu, who is related to Prakash.

Annoyed by the behavior of the lawyer in question, the court, also made up of Judge Hemant Gupta, said: “Even after seven or eight months of telling the lawyers to be careful during video conferences, you (the defenders) are so reckless “.

“I couldn’t hear or see the courtroom. Before the hearing started, the link was connected but then disappeared. It was during that time that someone helped me fix the system. But I was fully dressed in my lawyer’s smock and because my device faced a technical glitch, I couldn’t hear or see what happened in court, ”Prakash told HT.

This is the second instance in two months in which a lawyer appears shirtless during a virtual hearing in the Supreme Court. On October 27, another lawyer appeared shirtless during a case hearing before a court presided over by Judge DY Chandrachud. The judge had stated then: “Lawyers must maintain a certain decorum while appearing before us. Caution must be exercised in the future. “Even Attorney General Tushar Mehta called the behavior” unforgivable. “

The lawyer involved at the time was MS Suvidutt, who wrote to the attorney general and the president of the Supreme Court Registered Defenders Association that he was attending his niece’s Vidyarambam (initiation of education) ceremony with the camera off. He expressed regret and apology for his inadvertent act.

Since videoconferencing proceedings began in March this year, attorneys in the higher courts have also been caught eating and looking casually, lying in bed, and even chewing. gutka.

In May this year, the Secretary General of the Supreme Court, Sanjeev S Kalgaonkar, issued a notice allowing lawyers to avoid their long robes and coats while appearing in court via video conference. The notice read: ‘Defenders may wear plain white shirt / white salwar-kameez / white sari, with a plain white neckband’ during the hearings before the Supreme Court of India through the Virtual Court System until they exist medical demands or even new orders. ”

A lawyer who was found smoking in the car during a virtual hearing in Gujarat’s high court was fined 10,000 rupees for his conduct. Lead attorney Rajeev Dhavan faced an embarrassing moment when he was found smoking a hookah during a major case hearing before the Rajasthan High Court. However, he escaped the judge’s eyes.

In June, the Supreme Court arrested a lawyer for appearing in a T-shirt, lying on his bed. One bank commented: “Minimum court etiquette must be followed in terms of what can be considered decent dress, record, etc., given the public nature of the hearings.” The attorney was allowed to offer an unconditional apology.

Hindustan Times

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