Can A Muslim Lawyer Wear Hijab in Court?

There are many cases that filed in the courts regarding hijab, However, several years ago the news regarding the plea filed by the students who want to wear the hijab which was happened in while attending lectures in Homeopathy College in Thane. For that, she takes the assistance of court for wearing this traditional Muslim attire, in that petition court allowed this to religious practice without any hurdles.  Sometimes which quite uncomfortable for situations such as if someone wants to attend the examination if they are covering all their face which is quite difficult for the identification of their face. February first is celebrated as the World Hijab Day.

Dress code always reflects professionalism especially if they are lawyers. In India lawyers wearing black and white is the color of code. These colors are the universal code for lawyers. There is a reason to choose black as a color for the lawyers which considered as the color of authority of power. The color white is a symbol of light, goodness, etc. Indian courts never forced to wear a head scarf for the lady lawyers if they want to wear it in courts, they can use it. These are not mandatory.

Perhaps, our law providing security and freedom for doing their religious proceedings, it is their freedom to opt it. Nobody can force among it; these all are about their personal freedom.

After the escalation of Justice Indu Malhotra, she asked the advocates without any gender difference they asked them to be in professional attire. It is quite important that they need to keep it. Advocate Anindita Pujari said that “She was basically asking the women advocates to adhere to the rules laid down in the Bar Council of India Act and the Advocates Act which prescribe the uniform for women advocates

Appear in proper dress code

An advocate should appear in court at all times only in the dress prescribed under the Bar Council of India Rules and his appearance should always be presentable. The Bar Council of India defines the strict regulations for lawyers in India on their dressing code. So, they have to appear in the court by following the rules mentioned. Male advocates are required to wear black and white coat having white bands on advocates gown, white shirt with white collar and black, white or grey long trousers or dhoti to be worn. The Women advocates are required to wear black full or half sleeves jackets or blouse, a white collar with advocates gown. Also, they can wear black or white long skirts or saris or can wear churidar kurta, salwar kurta with or without a dupatta. The gown is optional for advocates while appearing in the High Court or Supreme Court. A black tie can be worn instead of bands. In certain high courts of India, advocates are allowed not to wear the gown at the time of summer months. The rules and regulations for advocates are prescribed in chapter IV of Advocates Act.

Situation Elsewhere

Chief Justice of Canada held that a hijab is not an equivalent to sunglasses or a baseball cap. Muslim woman who wear the hijab do so out of a sincerely held religious belief and this right is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Indeed, the Chief Justice of Canada recently held in R v NS that a secular approach needs to be followed.

There is no question that if judges were to interpret “suitable dress” in a careless manner as this, there would undoubtedly be chaos and a degradation of culture, religion and values. There are dozens of Muslim women who practice law in this country wearing a hijab.

This article is authored by Kosha Doshai, student of BALLB (Hons) at Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

Also Read – Conditions of The District Courts in India

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