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Rajasthan HC adjourns a bail plea after lawyer appears in ‘Baniyan’ for the hearing through video-conference, second such incident in a month

The court had already issued guidelines that all lawyers must appear in uniform even for hearings through video conferencing

In a bizarre incident, an advocate appearing before the Rajasthan High Court appeared wearing a “baniyan” (vest) during a video-conference hearing forced the judge to adjourn the matter.

According to the reports, on Saturday, the Rajasthan HC was hearing cases via video-conferencing when an advocate named Ravindra Kumar Paliwal appeared before the judge in “baniyan” angering the judge Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma. The court was hearing a bail application by one Lalaram through video conferencing.

Earlier this month, Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma had already instructed the High Court Bar Association to urge all advocates to appear in their uniform during hearings that are conducted through video-conferencing amid coronavirus lockdown. 

However, advocate Paliwal failed to follow the decorum of the court, forcing Justice Sharma to adjourn the case to May 5.

In his order, Justice Sharma said, “Learned counsel for the petitioner was contacted through video conferencing he was found to be wearing Baniyan.”

Further, the order stated, “This court has already observed that during this pandemic where court functioning is being done through video conferencing, lawyers must appear in proper uniform. Even though video conferencing a decorum of the court is required to be maintained. The Advocates Act provides for lawyers to wear the uniform while pleading the case for their clients.”

Not the first appearance in Baniyan

This is the second incident of an advocate not being in uniform while hearing through video conference at the same court. On 7th April, an advocate named Naval Singh Sikarwar had appeared in a vest during a hearing for an urgent bail application. On that day too, Justice SP Sharma had adjourned the hearing saying lawyers must be uniforms during hearings, even if it through video conferencing. The advocate had defied the uniform norm despite the fact that the causelist had specifically mentioned that uniform is mandatory for lawyers. After that, justice Sharma had asked the High Court Bar Association to urge all advocates to appear in their uniform during hearings conducted through video conferencing.

After this, the bar association had assured the court that all advocates will be asked to follow the rules of the court. But it seems some advocates are still not complying with the rule.

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