COVID-19 pandemic has temporality relaxed the age-old dress code of lawyers, as they are no longer required to wear traditional black coat and robe/gown. After considering the medical advisory and the circular dated 13.05.2020 issued by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the Bar Council of India on 14.05.2020 issued an administrative order relaxing the dress code of lawyers.

As per the said order dated 14.05.2020, gowns and robes have been dispensed off the dress code and lawyers have been allowed to wear “Plain White Shirt/White Salwar Kameez/White Saree with Plain White Neck Band” during hearings and proceedings before all the High Courts, Tribunals, Commissions and all other forums.

The order has been enforced with immediate effect and shall remain in force until the issuance of another order modifying or overriding the present directions.

Earlier Hon’ble Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde said that doctors have advised not to wear gowns and coats, as it “makes it easier to catch virus”.

The Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court subsequently on 15.05.2020 allowed changes in dress code of lawyers in view of the medical exigencies due to the COVID-19 outbreak.