Advocate Shailendra Mani Tripathi has approached the Bar Council of India seeking exemption for Advocates from wearing black coats and gowns in summer.

Last month, the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh had appeared on his behalf in a PIL filed before the Supreme Court seeking the same relief.

The PIL was dismissed as withdrawn. The Court had granted leave to the petitioner to approach the Bar Council of India with the demand.

"Mr. Vikas Singh, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner seeks leave of this Court to withdraw the writ petition and make a representation to the Bar Council of India. The writ petition is, accordingly, dismissed as withdrawn", the Order of the Bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice V. Ramasubramanian read.

In the petition filed by Tripathi, it was stated that the Advocate's dress code in India is not suitable for the Indian climate and hence directions were sought to the Bar Council of India to exempt Advocates from wearing black coats & gowns during the summer season.

The petition sought to apprise the court of how Advocates' dress code which includes black blazers along with gowns, made the heat even worse.

It was highlighted that black colour is the most heat absorbent colour hence wearing black clothes during hot and humid climates resulted in perspiration and dehydration.

It was mentioned in the petition that countries like the United Kingdom which inspired the present dress code, have itself made amendments to the dress codes of their Advocates and Judges.

It was pointed out that black dress was never in practice for lawyers but following the issuance of a royal order due to the death of King Charles II, black dress was made compulsory as a symbol of mourning to the king. It was stated that adopting the same tradition of western mourning symbol showed that we were living under an inferiority complex under British superiority.

It was further stated that wearing warm clothes in the high temperature affected the work efficiency of lawyers and judges, which affected the quality of justice. It was stated that the rise in pendency of cases was due to adjournment of cases because of the intolerant climate. It was emphasized that Judges and Advocates could barely attend court proceedings due to the hot and humid weather conditions.

Therefore, it was urged to design a new dress code for Advocates as per the climatic conditions in India. Not just the Advocates' dress code, but the petition had sought directions from the Court to states across India to make changes in the dress codes of all Union and State services and other professions where dress codes need to be followed mandatorily.

Case Title: Shailendra Mani Tripathi v. Bar Council of India & Ors.

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