Shirtless lawyer and more: Bizarre incidents from lockdown hearings

On Monday, the judges were in for a shock when an advocate appeared shirtless for an online hearing

A fine of ₹ 1 lakh was also imposed on the accused, school principal Arvind Kumar. Photo: iStock

Even our courts aren’t spared from embarrassing online moments. Lawyers and advocates are regarded with respect, but ever since court hearings have gone online, bizarre and inappropriate behaviour by them have elicited sniggers.

On Monday, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra were in for a shock when an advocate appeared shirtless for an online hearing. The incident occurred during a hearing on the Sudarshan TV case. The lawyer was representing OpIndia. Justice Chandrachud repeatedly asked the judge who the lawyer was. According to Scroll, the lawyer suddenly logged out, probably when he realised his mistake.

Justice Chandrachud called the behaviour an affront to court while Indu Malhotra said it was ‘unpardonable’.

Related news: Labelling dissent as anti-national hurts ethos of democracy: SC judge


Recently, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan covered his face with a sheaf of papers while he smoked a hookah. The video went viral, eliciting laughter.

In two other incidents, a Rajasthan High Court lawyer appeared in a vest for a hearing and another advocate in the Gujarat High Court was fined ₹10,000 for smoking during a court session.

Such incidents are not just confined to India. Earlier this yea, a judge in Florida, Dennis Bailey, made a plea to attorneys attending court hearings via Zoom: “Get out of bed and put on some clothes,” he wrote in a letter.