A notice allegedly issued by the registrar of Pune District Court has stirred controversy. The directive instructs the women advocates to refrain from “arranging their hair in open court” as it “disturbs the functioning” of the court. 

Indira Jaising, a senior advocate, tweeted the picture of the notice expressing her disdain, “Wow now look! Who is distracted by women advocates and why!” The Pune Bar Association has denied receiving any such notice.

Picture Of The Notice Went Viral

The photo of the notice, dated October 20, read, “It is repeatedly noticed that women advocates are arranging their hair in open court, which is disturbing the functioning of the Court. Hence, women advocates are hereby notified to refrain from such act.”

The Pune Bar Association receives all the notices issued to advocates in advance. Advocate Pandurang Thorve, President of the Pune Bar Association, has said that there was no such notice received. 

Pune Bar Association Investigating The Details

The President also added that the courts function with a set of norms, and the Association will only comment when the details are verified.

While speaking to The Indian Express, Thorve said, “As a norm, all the notices issued to the lawyers are sent to the Pune Bar Association. After the issue was brought to my notice, I have come to the court premises, and have checked some places where the notice could have been pasted. We have not come across it yet.”

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Some reports suggested that the notice was rolled back on Saturday. Thorve said, “ it needs to be noted that Friday was the last day of functioning of the court before the Diwali holidays began on Saturday. We are getting more details on this.”

Misogyny Faced By Women Everyday In Courts

The Bar Council of India has a prescribed dress code for advocates. For women lawyers, the uniform includes a

black full-sleeve jacket or blouse, white collar stiff or soft, with white bands and Advocates’ Gowns”,

or a “white blouse, with or without collar, with white bands and with a black open breast coat”,

or “sarees or long skirts (white or black or any mellow or subdued colour without any print or design)

or flare (white, black or black-striped or gray) or Punjabi dress Churidar Kurta or Salwar-Kurta with or without dupatta (white or black)

or traditional dress with black coat and bands.

As reported by The Print, Indira Jaising, who was the first one to flag this notice, said that the notice stood out for her as the ‘general atmosphere of misogyny in courts is so high and she feels this notice to be ‘one more nail in the coffin for women lawyers.’

Women advocates opine that their attire and hair in the court are judged a lot, and their abilities and merit, are reduced to their appearance in the court. Women lawyers wear a saree or dress down to appear more “serious.”

The courts are the temples of law. Everyone, irrespective of gender, race, class, and caste, is equal in the eyes of the law. We forget that the court constitutes people and where there are people, there will be misogyny and bias. The equality in Constitution and World Charters is very much indicated, but the primary question arises: When will equality be granted in real life?

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: The Print, The Indian Express, India Today

Find the blogger: Katyayani Joshi

This post is tagged under: lawyers, Pune, Bar Association, viral, notice, misogyny, court, law, women, gender, equality, disturbance, function, judges, males, restrictions, Bar Council of India, appearance, merit, serious, abilities, job, attire, hair, Indira Jaising

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