Monday, June 5, 2023

Women officers in Kerala call for a change in the courtroom dress code.

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The dress code for female judicial officers in Kerala was established on October 1, 1970. It requires women to wear sarees with a white-collar band and a black gown on top. More than a hundred female judicial officers in Kerala are calling for a modernization of the dress code after more than four decades of service. They are forced to endure uncomfortable and packed courtrooms, particularly during the hotter months of the year, because they are required to wear this outfit.

Given the difficult weather conditions, these female cops are requesting permission to wear churidars, which are an alternative clothing choice that is more practical and muted.

The suffocating working circumstances in cramped courtrooms and cells with little ventilation have taken their toll on the physical well-being of these women. When worn in the stifling heat, sarees are a source of a great deal of discomfort and even annoyance.

They made reference to the recent example of the High Court of Telangana, which modified its dress code to allow women to wear sarees in addition to salwar kameez, churidars, long skirts, or trousers. During the warmer months, one female officer was quoted as saying that sitting in inadequately ventilated and congested courtrooms leads to great tiredness as well as a feeling of suffocation. In the majority of courtrooms, there is insufficient ventilation or air conditioning, in addition to regular power outages and the absence of backup equipment.

It has been suggested by sources working within the High Court that the Kerala High Court will soon evaluate the request made by the women officers and make a judgement about the adjustment of the dress code.

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