Report By: Nandika Chand | Last Updated June 20, 2020
The Supreme Court was left red-faced after a lawyer appeared in a virtual hearing while lying on a bed in a t-shirt. Justice S Ravindra Bhat said it was ‘inappropriate’ on the lawyer’s part to make such a court appearance. He observed that ‘minimum court etiquette’ should be followed given the public nature of hearings.
The top court said lawyers appearing in matters via video-conferencing should be ‘presentable’ and avoid showing images which are not appropriate. “This court is of the view that when counsel appear in court video hearings, they should be presentable and avoid showing images, which are not appropriate and can only be tolerable in the privacy of their homes,” it noted.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, hearings by virtual courts has become an order of the day. The apex court said minimum court etiquette in terms of what can be considered decent dress, background, etc. should be followed, given the public nature of hearings.
In April, the Rajasthan High Court went through a similar situation when a lawyer appeared in a bail hearing via video-conferencing in a vest. Courts, across the country, are functioning amid restrictions because of COVID-19. Hearings are conducted through video-conferencing.