Advocate does not require to follow a dress code: HC
Mumbai (PTI): An advocate does not require to follow a dress-code while seeking to meet an undertrial lodged in prison but his identification card issued by the Bar Council is sufficient, said a city-based advocate.
Advocate Thakur Tegbahadur Singh has written a letter to the Mumbai Central Prison stating that the jail authorities cannot insist upon a dress code to differentiate between the relatives of the inmate from the advocate, as the High Court had struck down the said rule from the jail manual in a petition filed by Payyazhi Janardhanan in 1992.
Thakur had filed a Right to Information application seeking to know under which rule the prison authorities were insisting that a lawyer wear a black coat when meeting an undertrial.
In reply, the information officer wrote that the insistence was to distinguish between the lawyer and the relative of the undertrial by way of precautionary measure as per the Maharashtra prison manual.
However, in a further letter to the prison authority dated May five, Thakur brought to the authority's notice that the High Court had struck down the rule from the jail manual.
The High Court order passed by division bench of Justices S P Kurdukar and A V Sawant states, "Prison authorities cannot insist upon advocate's wearing black coat. It is sufficient if advocate possess identity card issued by the Bar Council."
The order further states that if such identity card is produced by the legal advisor, the jail authorities will accept the same and permit the legal advisor to have the interview with the person detailed in jail in accordance with law.