Gujarat High Court imposed ₹10,000 on JV Ajmera for smoking in the car during a virtual hearing. Justice AS Supehia observed that the advocates are required to maintain a proper minimum decorum through the video conferencing so that the majesty and dignity of the proceedings are maintained.
On Advocate JV Ajmera’s conduct, the Court said that “It was not expected from an advocate to be smoking in the car during the Court proceedings. Such behavior of the advocate is required to be strictly condemned.” Thus, the Court directed him to pay ₹10,000 with HC Registry within a week. The Court further directed the Registrar to initiate proceedings and submission of a report within 10 days and the same to be forwarded to the Bar Council of Gujarat. Also, it was directed that the Bar Council and Bar Association of High Court instruct and inform the advocates to maintain a dignified and ethical decorum during the video conferencing. The Court said that “They shall be informed /instructed that the proceedings conducted through video conferencing shall be either from their respective residences or any office space barring any vehicle or any open ground. While attending the proceedings from their respective residences/offices, they shall also maintain appropriate sitting posture while addressing the Court.”
In recent controversial news, Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhawan was seen smoking hookah during the video conferencing Court proceedings before the Supreme Court. A plea was filed in the Supreme Court, recalling his senior designation for such misconduct. There are some incidents found where advocates were seen violating and disrespecting the Court’s decorum by attending the virtual hearings in inappropriate dresses. In June, the Supreme Court accepted an apology by an advocate who was found attending the hearing sleeping in bed and wearing a T-Shirt. A bail plea was adjourned by Rajasthan High Court on the account of inappropriately dressed counsel in undervest during the virtual hearing. In a recent case, Orissa High Court condemned the practice of lawyers arguing through video conferencing from inside vehicles, gardens, or while eating. An advocate was found posting a screenshot of the virtual hearing on LinkedIn. It was said that taking a picture of the virtual Court is as same as taking a picture of the actual Court, which is prohibited. For this conduct, Calcutta High Court had initiated suo motu contempt action against the advocate. Later on, however, the contempt proceedings were dropped with a warning to not repeat such undignified act again.