'Has to be some decorum': SC judges shocked as lawyer in Sudarshan TV case appears shirtless for online hearing

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A lawyer left Supreme Court of India judges shocked when he appeared shirtless for a virtual hearing through video-conferencing hearing of the Sudarshan TV case on Monday.

According to Live Law, when the hearing began on Monday, the image of a lawyer without his shirt on flashed on screen for a few seconds.

Justice DY Chandrachud, the presiding judge of the bench, asked repeatedly who the advocate was, but got no response. The lawyer logged out soon from the virtual hearing session.

After the case was adjourned, Justice Chandrachud expressed his displeasure at the incident to Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta.

"There has to be some decorum," Justice Chandrachud said.

Justice Indu Malhotra, who was also part of the apex court bench hearing the case, expressed her disgust at the lawyer's casual attitude and said, "This is very bad."

Justice Chadrachud asked the solicitor-general to speak to the lawyer and ensure that such a mistake is not repeated.

As per Scroll, the lawyer was representing OpIndia.

Justice Chandrachud also told Mehta that lawyers must observe decorum even during virtual hearings. He said that such incidents were an insult to court.

The apex court was hearing the Sudarshan TV case in which it has imposed a pre-telecast ban on the channel's 'UPSC Jihad' programme.

The show alleged that an NGO named Zakat Foundation, training mostly Muslims students who aspire to be civil servants, has received funds from a number of terror-linked organisations.

The Centre has issued a show cause notice to the television channel for violating programme code for its Bindas Bol programme series.

Judicial bodies, including the Supreme Court, have been hearing the cases online since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per a report in Hindustan Times senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan was earlier seen smoking during a virtual hearing of a case.

A lawyer of Rajasthan High Court also was seen in his vest while hearing an online bail plea. The High Court of Gujarat has imposed a penalty of Rs 10,000 on an advocate who was caught smoking during an online case hearing.

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