Delhi lawyers to shed black gowns on security concerns

New Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) Lawyers here have agreed to shed their traditional black gowns on security considerations, also terming it the end of a colonial practice.

The Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) has suggested to Chief Justice Ajit Praksh Shah that the gowns be done away with so that security personnel can easily frisk the lawyers.

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The flowing black robe, which completes the dress code in the legal profession, is now being viewed as a security threat by the fraternity, particularly after the string of terrorist attacks in various parts of the country.

“It is very easy to hide something under the loose-fitting gown,” DHCBA president K.C. Mittal said.

“We have taken our concerns to the chief justice and he is looking into it,” he added.

Advocate Ashok Aggarwal said: “We should stop following this colonial rule of wearing gowns. This will not only be easier for the security personnel to go ahead with the frisking process but also help us in adapting to new changes.”

“The wearing of these gowns give us a colonial touch. So, shedding this will serve a dual purpose,” Aggarwal added.

The DHCBA is also wary the advocates’ outfit may compromise the court’s security apparatus as attackers could enter the premises disguised as lawyers.

Anticipating the probability that security checks would inconvenience many lawyers on a busy court day, the association has put up a notice saying members should not object to a thorough check of their bags or a personal check.

“Wherever security issues arise, there should not be any compromise” said Gagandeep Singh, another advocate.