LC Victoria Gowri To Take Oath As Madras HC Judge Today, SC To Hear Plea Against Appointment

New Delhi: Despite the opposition from the lawyers to her appointment, the Centre on Monday notified the appointment of advocate Lakshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri as an additional judge of the Madras High Court. The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled to take place on February 7, the same day as the Supreme Court bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and MM Sundresh is set to hear a petition filed by a group of lawyers accusing her of indulging in “hate speech.”

The lawyers criticizing the Supreme Court collegium’s move to recommend Gowri’s name pointed out her association with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the offensive remarks made by her against minority communities.

Last week, 21 lawyers, opposing Gowri’s elevation as a judge wrote to President Droupadi Murmu urging her to return the file submitted by the Supreme Court Collegium recommending the appointment of Victoria Gowri as Madras High Court judge.

The advocates, citing two YouTube interviews by her and a 2012 Organiser article, alleged that Gowri’s “regressive views are completely antithetical to foundational Constitutional values and reflect her deep-rooted religious bigotry,” thus making her “unfit to be appointed as judge of the High Court”. 

On Monday, shortly after Law Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted a list of 13 names of advocates, including that of Ms. Gowri, who have been cleared for High Court judgeships, CJI DY Chandrachud said, “There are certain developments which have taken place,” taking cognizance of the complaints against Gowri, Bar and Bench reported.

The chief justice said the petition will be heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. “Now since we have taken cognisance of these developments, what we can do is list this matter tomorrow morning. I will constitute a Bench and let this case go before the appropriate Bench,” CJI added.

Gowri joined BJP in August 2019 and spent a year as its member. Her Twitter handle then was ‘Chowkidar Victoria Gowri’, with her bio identifying her as the national general secretary of the BJP Mahila Morcha. 

However, some 50 lawyers of the Madras High Court Bench in Madurai came out in her support, citing numerous instances of lawyers with strong political views becoming judges earlier, and performing their duties impartially.

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