HP HC pulls Government officer to drape in causal dress


The Himachal Pradesh High Court (HP HC) today took notice into draping of a State Government officer in a casual dress while appearing before the Court, directing the State Chief Secretary V C Pharka to pass necessary instructions or directions to all concerned to be appropriately dressed before the Court and offices seeking compliance of its direction.


The Division bench of Justice Tralok Singh Chauhan and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel passed this order when they noticed that a respondent namely Ms. Poonam Kumari appearing ‘in person’ in the Court as a Junior Engineer was not appropriately dressed wearing a multi colored checked shirt and Jean. The Court observed in five-page order that it was appalling when she informed the bench that she also comes to discharge her office duties wearing only these kinds of dresses. The Bench quoted Shakespeare who said ” the apparel oft proclaim the man”  passed the order to the State Chief Secretary that it is high time we restricted litigants appearing before the Court more particularity Government officer or officials in immodest dressed as they should be dressed appropriately.


The Bench said that dispensation of justice is inevitable feature in any civilized society. Judiciary is the backbone of Democracy in a democratic polity. The role of the judiciary to maintains and stabilize the role of law which is essential in successfully functioning of the democracy. The Judges and Magistrates play the pivotal role in the administration of justice and that is why they wear specially dressed prescribe by rules framed by the High Court.


The dress is worn compulsorily in order to maintain the dignity and decorum of Court and therefore we see no reason why any litigants more particularly government officers and officials should be improperly or inappropriately dressed while appearing before Court. After all being appropriately dressed only induces a seriousness of purpose a decorum which is highly conducive for the dispensation of justice. Invoking May 30, 2017 order passed against the State Chief Secretary of Jharkhand who draped into colorful printed Saree while appearing before the High Court, the bench observed that similar scathing comment made by the Court against Chief Secretary.


In response to the scathing comment made by the Jharkhand high court, the Bench sought compliance of today’s order asking State Chief Secretary to come up with the submission on August 8 on next date of hearing. The Court not only pulled up Chief Secretary during the hearing but also asked the Advocate General to follow the appropriate dress code which attending court or office as the officer are already aware of the dress code as they have been trained on the aspect.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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