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It might be par for the course to put up a smokescreen of arguments to defend one’s client, but the Gujarat High Court did not take it casually when it saw a lawyer smoking at a virtual hearing. On Thursday, the Gujarat High Court took a stern view of the ‘irresponsible conduct’ by an Advocate who was smoking during the virtual court proceedings and imposed a fine of Rs. 10,000 upon him.

While observing that an Advocate for the original complainant, Mr. JV Ajmera was smoking whilst sitting in the car, the bench headed by Justice A S Supehia asserted that “This Court seriously deprecates such conduct of the advocate. 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.” He then went on to impose a fine of Rs. 10,000 and directed it to be deposited with the HC Registry, within a week.

Subsequently, the Court directed the Registrar (Judicial) to initiate appropriate proceedings and submit a report within a period of ten days and forward the same to the Bar Council of Gujarat.

Justice A S Supehia also observed that the advocates appearing through video conferences are required to maintain minimum dignified decorum so that the majesty and dignity of the proceedings as well as the Institution are maintained.

“It is directed that the Bar Council, as well as the Bar Association of High Court, shall inform the advocates to maintain a dignified decorum while conducting the matters through video conferencing,” stated the court.


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