Senior Advocate and former Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising has tweeted that she will be giving up her “senior counsel’ gown from August 16, that is a day after the Independence Day.
She tweeted “On independence day , I am starting a 'Gown wapasi' movement. Wef August I6th will.shed my senior counsel gown as a symbol of discrimination” In a forward to a related tweet, she also wrote “Why do we need two classes of lawyers with different uniform ?”
This comes a day after she raised such issues during the arguments in the senior designation case. She has alleged that an arbitrary and discriminatory process was being followed for the designations and has called for formulation of specific rules. She had said "seniors get a more patient hearing too from the judges and this was wrong..a separate gown for seniors also marks discrimination”.
After her tweet, when Live Law asked her the reason behind her sudden decision, she said:
“When I was arguing this case (senior designations) in the Supreme Court, I cited the case of Balaji which deals with conferring of Padmashrees. That was challenged in the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court said that the Government must come up with guidelines for the conferring this award. Now, the Affidavit filed by the Supreme Court in senior designation says that the designation as’Senior Counsel’ is an honour. Similarly, the conferring of Padmashree is also an honor. The Supreme Court said that you can't use the word Padmashree as a prefix or suffix with your name because it violates the rule of equality. You can't have two classes of people, those with Padmashree and those without Padmashree, so you can't write that in your name. So I made a submission to the Court, that similarly, even when you designate a senior, they can't say Senior Counsel and they can't wear a different gown. If you read the Bar Council Rules, there is no distinction between the gown of a senior and a junior. So they have adopted the whole senior gown only because of the British”.
“So, that is why, because I myself argued this in the Court, therefore, I want to act according to what I have submitted in the Court. So I have decided that from 15th onwards, I won't. 15th is independence day, so you can call it independence from the British”.