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Opinion

‘Shirtless man by your side’: Supreme Court to lawyer during online hearing

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Hearing a suo motu petition about the condition of child care homes during Covid-19, judges at a Supreme Court bench had to point out to a lawyer that a shirtless man was standing next to them.

The event occurred in the virtual courtroom of the Supreme Court chaired by Judge LN Rao. During the hearing, a bare-chested person appeared on the screen adjusting the camera of permanent Kerala government attorney 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.

Irritated by the behavior of the lawyer in question, the court, which also includes 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 failure, I couldn’t hear or see what happened in court, ”lawyer Prakash told the Hindustan Times.

This is the second incident in which a lawyer appears shirtless in the Supreme Court in a span of two months.

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. “

Attorney General Tushar Mehta called the behavior “unforgivable.”

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

In June, the superior court arrested a lawyer for appearing in a T-shirt lying on his bed. The court 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.

These incidents have also occurred at the state level.

Since videoconferencing proceedings began in March, lawyers in the higher courts have also been caught eating, appearing in casual clothing lying on the bed and even chewing gutka.

In May, 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.

Original source

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