‘What Is This Behaviour’: Supreme Court Angry After Lawyer Appears Shirtless During Online Hearing


New Delhi: With millions of people working from home now, dressing up for work seems like a thing of past. Even while important Zoom calls, many people have ditched formal attire and are switching to more comfortable clothing. However, seems one man got too comfortable and got an earful from Supreme Court judges.

On Tuesday, Supreme Court was left seething in anger after a lawyer appeared during a video conference without wearing a shirt. Upset by the bare-chested lawyer seen adjusting the camera, Supreme Court remarked that lawyers cannot afford to be so reckless.

”What is this behaviour? Even after seven-eight months of video conferencing hearings, these things are happening”, said a bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta.

The incident happened in the Supreme Court virtual courtroom presided over by justice LN Rao when he was hearing a suo moto petition on the condition of Child Care Homes during the pandemic.
Not the first incident

This is not the first time such untoward incident has happened in the apex court during hearings being conducted through video-conferencing. On October 26, a similar incident had happened before a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud when an advocate was seen on the screen while he was shirtless.

I do not like to be hard to anyone but you are on screen. You have to be careful”, Justice Chandrachud had observed.

In June, a lawyer had appeared in a virtual hearing in the apex court while lying on bed and donning a T-shirt, drawing displeasure of the judge who observed that “minimum court etiquette” should be followed given the public nature of hearings. In April this year, a similar incident had come to light when a lawyer had appeared in a bail hearing conducted through video-conferencing in vest, drawing the ire of the Rajasthan High Court.

The apex court had observed that lawyers appearing in matters via video-conferencing should be “presentable” and avoid showing images which are not appropriate. The top court, which has restricted its functioning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is presently hearing matters through video-conferencing.