Litigants in person can address the court from across the bar
An application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to know whether there is any statute governing the litigants in person i.e. those litigants who opt to address the court in person in place of being represented by an advocate.
So far, the practice in India has been that where even an advocate is himself a litigant and appears as a litigant in person, he addressed from the same place and in the same way as any ordinary member of the public, i.e from the witness box and wearing ordinary clothes.
The reply to the application provided by the public information officer (PIO) of the Bombay High Court stated that the procedures in court are governed by the criminal procedure code (CrPC) and other laws and the applicant could find the answer to the queries in the Acts. The applicant approached the State Information Commission and the CIC ordered the PIO to provide him the sought information. During the hearing of a case challenging the order of the information commission, the administrative section of the court said that there was no statute which stated that the litigant should address from the dock. The division bench of the court has asked the PIO to file the affidavit that a litigant in person need not necessarily be in the dock in order to address the court. The next date of hearing is January 24.