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Madras HC reserves orders on petition against lawyers wearing gown before NCLT

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday reserved its judgment on a petition filed by an advocate against an order of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) that lawyers should wear gowns while appearing before its bench.

A division bench comprising of Justices R. Mahadevan and Mohammed Shaffiq reserved the orders on a petition filed by advocate R. Rajesh, arguing that a division bench of Justice K. Ravichandra Babu (since retired) and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam passed an interim stay on the notification issued by the NCLT registrar.

The petitioner said that the NCLT registrar was again demanding the advocates to wear the gown before the benches of the NCLT without complying with the interim stay. “The notification and subsequent orders passed by the NCLT Registrar is illegal, arbitrary and devoid of merits,” he argued.

He also said that the grounds of the interim stay by the Madras High Court was that the notification is against the rules of the Bar Council Of India, which state that advocates should wear a gown while they are appearing before High Courts and Supreme Court.

Advocate S.R. Raghunathan, who represented the Bar Council of India, supported the petitioner’s argument and stated that the NCLT registrar could not issue such a statement as it was against the Bar Council of India rules.

The BCI’s counsel said that they had sent a notice to the NCLT registrar against the new order issued despite an interim stay order by the Madras High Court division bench. Counsel said that the registrar had withdrawn the order after receiving the notice.