Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Challenging Justice Victoria Gowri’s Appointment

In a major development the Supreme Court dismissed a Petition challenging appointment of Advocate Victoria Gowri as Additional Judge of Madras High Court.

Justice Victoria Gowri took oath just 5 minutes before the Supreme Court dismissed the Petition.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard a Petition Challenging appointment of Advocate L Victoria Gowri as an additional judge of the Madras High Court.

A Bench of Justices Sanjeev Khanna and BR Gavai heard the matter.

The hearing started at 10:30 in the Supreme Court.

Sr Adv Raju Ramchandran appearing for the Petitioner opened his submissions, stating that Equal justice part of article 12. A person who is not in sync with ideals of constitution, should not take the oath as the oath specifies this. Victoria Gowri has uttered things in public which are against ideals of constitution.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna said there are instances of persons with political backgrounds being appointed, He also said that the materials are from speeches from 2018 and the Collegium must have gone through them before recommending the name of Victoria Gowri.

Ramchandran replied, I don’t think it has.

Justice BR Gavai said, “I also have a political background before joining the court as a judge, I have been a judge for 20 years and my political background has not come in my way.”

Ramchandran replied that this doesn’t mean that consultee hudges have read ever read every tweet.

Justice Khanna observed that this will open pandora’s box for Judicial review of judicial appointments. He further added that the Court Cannot go into the decision of collegium and we have fairly robust process of appointment of Judges.

On January 17, the SC Collegium, led by CJI Chandrachud, proposed Gowri’s name, along with those of the others, for elevation to the Madras High Court.

The plea against her elevation accused Gowri of exhibiting “strong prejudice” against citizens on the ground of their religious affiliation “through…vitriolic comments” and said “such prejudice will threaten their access to justice”. It also questioned her political affiliation, claiming she was a National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Mahila Morcha, the BJP’s women’s wing.

The Supreme Court heard the case for the first time on Monday morning, and it was scheduled for hearing on February 10. However, after knowing that the government has notified her appointment as an Additional Judge of the High Court, the petitioners approached the court again in the afternoon, and the matter was scheduled for hearing on Tuesday by a bench of Justices Sanjeev Khanna and M M Sundaresh.

Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud told Senior Advocate Raju Ramachandran, who mentioned the plea for urgent hearing, that some developments had taken place and “the collegium has taken cognisance of what was drawn to our attention or came to our notice after we formulated our recommendations on the recommendation of the…Collegium of the Madras High Court”.

Last week, a group of 21 Madras High Court lawyers wrote to the President of India and the Supreme Court collegium, accusing Gowri, an Assistant Solicitor General of India for the Madras High Court’s Madurai Bench, of “hate speech and regressive views” against Christians and Muslims and requesting that her name be removed from the list of those recommended for appointment as High Court judges.

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