The Madras High Court on Monday reserved its order in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging a circular issued by the Registrar of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) directing all lawyers appearing before any bench of the Tribunal to wear black gowns [R Rajesh v. Union of India and others]. .A Bench of Justices R Mahadevan and Mohammed Shaffiq was hearing the PIL filed by a lawyer, R Rajesh, who appeared as a party in person..Rajesh challenged a circular issued by the NCLT Registrar on November 4, 2017.He argued that the Tribunal Registrar had no jurisdiction to impose any dress codes for lawyers as the latter were governed only by the Advocates Act, 1961, and the Bar Council of India (BCI) Rules. He further argued that the circular issued by the Registrar was ultra vires, null and void. He urged the Court to quash the circular on the grounds that it was illegal, arbitrary, and devoid of any merits..Earlier, a Bench of Justices TS Sivagnanam and K Ravichandrabaabu had ordered an interim stay on the operation of the order, holding it to be in conflict with the Rules of the Bar Council of India which made wearing of gowns mandatory for an advocate only in case she or he is appearing in the Supreme Court or the High Courts. Advocate SR Raghunathan, who appeared for the BCI, said the Council supported the stand taken by the petitioner..Rajesh also pointed out that in December 2017, after the High Court had granted an interim stay on such circular, the Registrar had issued another circular, this time, making it mandatory for advocates to wear a gown while appearing before the NCLT Bench in Delhi. He told the Court that he had sent a contempt notice to the Registrar following which the circular concerning the Delhi Bench was withdrawn. Rajesh then wrote to the Tribunal Registrar saying that just as the circular prescribing a dress code for appearing before the Delhi Bench had been withdrawn, the November 2017 circular that prescribed black gowns for lawyers appearing before all NCLT benches should be withdrawn as well. However, he is yet to get a response from the Registrar, Rajesh told the High Court. In response, the Bench led by Justice Mahadevan orally remarked that the interim order granting a stay on the operation of the circular should "hold good," and reserved its orders.