Kerala Women Judicial Officers Approach High Court Seeking Changes In Dress Code

Ritika Joshi
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Women judicial officers in Kerala have approached the high court in hopes of changing the 53-year-old dress code.

More than 100 women officers who sought permission to wear churidar in the courtrooms approached the Kerala High Courts. As per the dress code, women judicial officers have to wear a traditional sari, a white collar band, and a black gown. The officers complained that the outfit was an uncomfortable combination as they have to sit in crowded courtrooms for hours.

The officers said that the present hot and humid climate made the situation even worse.

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Kerala Women Judicial Officers


The Kerala women judicial officers quoted a circular issued by the Telangana High Court in 2021, which allowed officers to wear salwar, churidar, long skirts, and trousers as permissible wear along with the sari.

Meanwhile, the judicial officers' code specified that women have to wear the regional dress of subdued colour, a white collar band, and a Barrister's or Bachelor of Law's gown.

Earlier this year, the Delhi High Court ruled that judicial officers and lawyers should wear white collars as part of the dress code. The court said that law interns attending court should wear a white shirt, black trousers, and a black tie.

Justice Prathiba M Singh said that judicial officers appearing before a court, from civil courts to the apex court must wear white collar bands along with the uniform.

The Delhi High Court was hearing a petition by a law student who was challenging a circular issued by the Shahdara Bar Association in 2022. The circular instructed interns appearing in Karkardooma District Court to wear a shirt, blue coat, and trousers so they were easily distinguishable from lawyers.

The high court stayed the Shahdara Bar Association's circular for the dress code for law interns and asked the Bar Council of Delhi to meet bar associations in the national capital and consensually decide on a dress code for interns.

The counsel representing the Shahdara Bar Association said the circular was passed to distinguish interns from judicial officers and lawyers as a large number of them wore black ties rather than white neckbands.

Dress code Women Judicial Officers