Simple & modest: Women judges get new dress code in Kerala

Woman judicial officers sent a request to the Chief Justice of the HC stating that the circular issued in 1970 regarding their dress code was causing hardships due to changes in climatic conditions.
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express IIlustration)
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express IIlustration)

KOCHI:  If you thought the new dress norms for women judges of lower courts in Kerala would be chic and trendy, you got it all wrong. The circular modifying the dress code of lady judicial officers, issued by the Kerala High Court on October 7, gives lady judicial officers an option to change their outfit from saree to salwar and kameez for the first time since 1970. The High Court, however, barred judicial officers from wearing any colour other than white and black.

The court also put stiff rules regarding other fashion aspects as well, asking woman judges to keep the dress simple. The circular issued by P J Vincent, Registrar (District Judiciary), stated: “All colours except black and white shall be avoided. The dress worn should be modest and simple and befitting the dignity of a judicial officer.”

Woman judicial officers had sent a request to the Chief Justice of the High Court stating that the circular issued in 1970 regarding their dress code was causing hardships due to changes in climatic conditions and infrastructural shortcomings inside courts. The High Court issued the latest circular partially modifying the earlier one. 

The modified circular allows lady judges to wear a white colour saree with a black collar blouse with full/half sleeves and stiff/soft bands and collars with a black gown as required, as worn at present. 

It also allows “white kameez (full or half sleeves), with high neck/collar, white or black salwar of modest fit and covering the ankle, with black full sleeved coat/black vest with soft/stiff collar and bands and gown as required. White full-sleeved high neck blouse/shirt with collar, along with modest full ankle length trousers/skirts in black with stiff/soft collar and bands and black full-sleeved coat/black vest with soft/stiff collar and bands, and gown as required.”

SINCE 1970

The circular gives lady judicial officers an option to change their outfit from saree to salwar for first time since 1970

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