Smart uniforms to prevent corruption among trial court staff

June 27th, 2008 - 1:52 pm ICT by IANS  

By Kanu Sarda
New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) Clerks and other employees at trial courts in the capital will soon turn out in smart uniform in a move to curb petty corruption as legal officials feel this will deter them from mixing with the public and striking “underhand deals”. The idea is to not only clearly distinguish the staff from the litigants and other visitors to the courts “but also to prevent corruption as the uniformed employees will not be able to mingle with the public to strike underhand deals”, said a senior official who did want to be named.

“We have invited designs from various fashion houses in the capital to suit our requirements, like sober and soothing colours so that it would be possible to differentiate between litigants and court staff at a glance,” said an official in-charge of the project.

“A dress code will maintain the decorum of the courts. Employees are an integral part of the daily proceedings and so should be dressed appropriately,” he added.

At present, the Delhi High Court’s male staff members wear grey suits with red and grey striped ties, while the women sport saris and black jackets.

The Supreme Court’s staff members are clad in similar fashion.

“We have asked the fashion houses to design outfits only on the lines of those for the Supreme Court and high court staff,” the official explained.

“A dress code is the need of the hour to bring down the increasing level of corruption in the lower courts,” he added.

Some years ago, the trial courts’ staff were given identification cards bearing their photographs, designation and other relevant information.

It was then noticed that some staff members would, instead of wearing them upfront, conceal their identity cards and mingle with the litigants to conduct shady deals, the official pointed out.

A dress code would prevent this from happening, he added.

Court employees have welcomed the dress code concept.

“It’s a very good move for us and will help in monitoring the increasing instances of corruption,” said Shiv Dubey, who works at the Tis Hazari courts.

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