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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Indian judges 'no longer lords'
By Jyotsna Singh
BBC News, Delhi

Lawyers in India
India's legal system is largely modelled on the British one
Judges in India will no longer have to be addressed in court as "my lord" or "my lordship" - terms dating back to the days of British rule over India.

The Bar Council of India said "your honour" or "honourable court" can be used in the courtroom instead.

Lawyers can also address the court as "sir" or its regional equivalent.

Lawyers welcomed the move, with a top lawyer telling the BBC it was time to get rid of a "colonial hangover". India won freedom from British rule in 1947.

"Maybe [such words] should have been given up earlier," lawyer Subhash Kashyap said.

"It is perhaps psychological, like removing statues of former British governors and Viceroys in the country."

Mr Kashyap added that it was also high time to meet a long-standing demand to change the dress code for lawyers.

Indian lawyers have to wear a tie and black coat, even in lower courts that often have no air-conditioning to counter the heat.

In a resolution passed on Wednesday, the Bar Council of India said the new rules for addressing judges would apply to all courts, including High Courts, local courts and tribunals.

The resolution comes after the Supreme Court recently ruled that it was for the bar council to decide on the matter.

The new ruling will take effect as soon as it is published in the official gazette.

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