A bench of Supreme Court judges was startled on Tuesday after an advocate, at a virtual hearing of the Supreme Court, appeared in front of the bench without his shirt on.
The incident was momentary as the lawyer logged out soon. The bench, that was hearing the Sudarshan TV case, later noted that it was the government’s second most-senior law officer Tushar Mehta who had embarrassed himself. Justice Indu Malhotra, who was also part of the bench, described the incident as ‘unpardonable’.
The surprised justice Chandrachud after witnessing the scene asked: “Who is this lawyer?”
Chandrachud later goes on to school Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and said “I am not one who takes action against lawyers but this is a Court for all purposes. Some decorum has to be maintained by lawyers while appearing before us. Caution must be taken in the future.”
The Supreme Court’s Advocates-on-Record Association President when asked for a comment on the whole incident said that no complaint was sent to them in this regard. “It appears to be a mistake by the lawyer for which he should offer apology. At the same time, we must understand that such things can happen during a virtual court proceeding,” he said.
Notably, the Supreme court is no alien to such blunders in recent times. Earlier, a senior lawyer was spotted smoking during an online hearing at the Supreme Court. Another incident had the Rajasthan high court lawyer appearing in a vest for an online bail hearing thus irking the judge.
“This court has already observed that during this pandemic where court functioning is being done through video conferencing, lawyers must appear in proper uniform… keeping in view that the petitioner’s counsel was not in proper uniform, the matter is adjourned,” the court said. Advocates Act requires lawyers to appear before courts in a prescribed dress, it had noted.