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Courts warn female staff for violating dress code
August, 07th 2012

After observing western outfits, bright-coloured clothes and casual clothing worn by the female court staff, the district courts have decided to crack down on them for not adhering to the prescribed dress code. Instead of the dress code - Salwar Kameez or Saree - female employees have often been wearing casuals. Strict disciplinary action will now be taken against all employee violating the dress code.

In a recent circular issued by Rohini court's district judge MK Gupta, issues were raised about the court staff flouting guidelines, including the dress code.

"It has been noticed that a large number of female staff members are not following the directions of District and Sessions Judge (on the dress code) which is a gross misconduct and indiscipline," the circular said.

Besides the dress code for women, the judiciary has also "prohibited" the use of mobile phones by the court staff during working hours saying it affects "court discipline and dispensing of justice". "The act of the employees (of using mobile phones) is adversely affecting the court discipline and also in dispensing of justice since use of mobile phones during court hours for personal use and that too within full public view is impermissible," the circular stated.

The judge has further warned the court staff to "comply" with the directions or face action. The directions came on the basis of a letter written by Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau to the district judge elaborating the incidents of misconduct by the court staff. In her complaint, ASJ Lau said that employees were not following the dress code, especially female staff. She also said that the court staff would use the mobile phones during court proceedings and sent SMSs.

Earlier as well, the lower judiciary has tried to enforce a uniform for the court staff. In 2008, the lower judiciary asked the female employees to choose between Suit and Saree as their dress code. Two years later, the lower judiciary followed the example of the High court and issued uniforms for both, male and female employees of the trial court. The uniform consisted of Pant and shirt for the male employees while female employees were issued Indian Suits. The direction, however, could not be implemented completely with court staff flouting the norms more than often.

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