Asianet NewsableAsianet Newsable
breaking news image

Heatwave hits Delhi courts: Judges grant robe-free option to lawyers amid rising temperatures

Amidst the sweltering conditions, as many as three High Courts have granted lawyers permission to shed their traditional attire for the summer months. Calls are now mounting for the Supreme Court to enact a nationwide policy allowing all lawyers to forego robes during hot weather.

Heatwave hits Delhi courts: Judges grant robe-free option to lawyers amid rising temperatures AJR
Author
First Published May 31, 2024, 3:39 PM IST

As temperatures soar in Delhi, the city's courts find themselves grappling with a long-standing tradition that's increasingly at odds with the climate. Dating back to 1961, a law mandates lawyers to don heavy black robes and coats, a practice now facing scrutiny as the mercury climbs.

Amidst the sweltering conditions, as many as three High Courts have granted lawyers permission to shed their traditional attire for the summer months. Calls are now mounting for the Supreme Court to enact a nationwide policy allowing all lawyers to forego robes during hot weather.

MP HORROR! Man tries to kidnap woman he raped with sword in hand from her wedding, arrested (WATCH)

Recent events highlight the severity of the situation. In one New Delhi court, proceedings were postponed due to a lack of adequate air conditioning and water supply. While the Supreme Court and most High Courts enjoy climate-controlled environments, many lower courts and consumer forums rely on fans and suffer from poor ventilation.

This week, as New Delhi saw temperatures reaching around 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) for the first time, authorities took emergency measures, including water restrictions, school closures, and the establishment of heatstroke units at hospitals.

Paramedics were deployed to polling stations for the final day of the general election to assist any voters affected by the heat, following the tragic death of a 40-year-old laborer from heatstroke.

The Indian Meteorological Department predicts an increase in the number of heatwave days this month, exacerbating conditions in the already scorching northwest region. The effects are being felt across all segments of society, including the legal system.

At a consumer court in Dwarka, judges found themselves presiding over cases against insurance companies in stifling conditions. With two non-functioning air conditioners, the courtroom offered little relief from the oppressive heat. Three judges, citing extreme temperatures, adjourned a case until November, lamenting the lack of basic amenities such as air conditioning and water supply.

Nagpur burns at 56°C after Delhi hits 52.9°C: IMD raises heatwave alarm

Critics have long highlighted the inadequate infrastructure of many courts in Delhi. In 2021, the then Chief Justice raised concerns over the dilapidated state of court buildings, noting the detrimental impact on litigants and lawyers alike.

Seeking a remedy, Delhi-based lawyer Shailendra Mani Tripathi has petitioned the Supreme Court, arguing that the mandatory dress code poses health risks, particularly as black coats absorb more heat. Tripathi said that forcing lawyers to adhere to this outdated tradition is unjust and unreasonable.

Latest Videos
Follow Us:
Download App:
  • android
  • ios