As you might probably know, Advocates appear in Courts on behalf of their clients. In India, the Bar Council of India regulates the conduct of lawyers. All the rules and guidelines applicable to lawyers are mentioned in the Advocates’ Act.
These guidelines include how lawyers conduct themselves in Court, the mandatory dress code etc.
In this post, we will discuss if Advocates must stand while arguing a case in Court.
An Advocate from Ludhiana had filed a Right To Information application in the Supreme Court of India to determine if there is any rule that states lawyers have to stand while addressing the Court.
The reply to RTI stated that there is no such rule that requires Advocates to stand while arguing a case. The lawyer conveyed the same to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and requested them to seek appropriate action from the BCI regarding the same.
In this context, the lawyer stated that there is no difference in the qualification of advocates and judges, and there are some aged lawyers who practice in courts and went on to add what is the need to stand if rules don’t mandate it.
According to him, it is a practice inherited from the British, and there is no need to mirror it, and such a tradition should be discontinued.
It is prevalent to see in Indian Courts that some very senior lawyers who are in their 80s and 90s stand for long durations while arguing a case.
To address this once and for all, Senior Counsels of the Supreme Court stated that the act of standing up while arguing a case shows respect to the Hon’ble Judges and the Institution. It was further stated that if a lawyer cannot stand due to any reason, then the Court allows the Advocate to sit and argue a case.
However, the arguing lawyer and the Hon’ble Court have discretion in this regard.