Lawyer Victoria Gowri Sworn In As Judge, Supreme Court Dismisses Petition
Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri, an attorney, was being sworn in as a judge of the Madras High Court when petitions were filed asking the Supreme Court to prevent her from taking the oath. While the hearing in the supreme court was still going on, the oath-taking ceremony began.
At the beginning of the hearing, Justice Khanna said there is a difference between eligibility and suitability. “On eligibility, there could be a challenge. But suitability… The courts should not get into suitability, otherwise the whole process will become haywire,” he observed.
Senior attorney Raju Ramachandran argued that the decision-making process was hampered since pertinent material was not provided to the collegium. He had previously asked the court for urgent action because the Centre had announced the nomination of Ms. Gowri. The judges claimed to have read every document filed.
Regarding his political background, Justice Gavai stated that although it existed, it did not interfere with his performance of his duties.Due to allegations that Ms. Gowri had made hateful remarks against Christians and Muslims, certain bar members of the Madras High Court wrote to the Chief Justice of India asking for the recommendation to appoint her as an additional judge of the high court to be withdrawn.
Following rumours of Ms. Gowri’s supposed affiliation with the BJP, the projected promotion of Ms. Gowri has been dogged by controversy.
54 attorneys from Tamil Nadu’s Madurai wrote to the Supreme Court collegium, a group of judges who deliberate on nominations to the higher judiciary, supporting the recommendation to install Ms. Gowri as a judge in the Madras High Court after many Madras High Court attorneys objected. Before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, Ms. Gowri acted as the Center’s representative.
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