L Victoria Gowri appointment case: SC dismisses petitions challenging appointment as additional judge of Madras High Court

L Victoria Gowri appointment case: SC dismisses petitions challenging appointment as additional judge of Madras High Court

On February 7, the petitions contesting the appointment of L Victoria Gowri as an extra judge of the Madras High Court were dismissed by a division bench of the Supreme Court presided over by Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai

A bench ruled that it was not reasonable to assume that the Collegium was unaware of Gowri's political history or the later-publicized publications. 

She is merely being appointed as an Additional Judge, the bench continued, and there have been cases where people have not been confirmed. 

The Madras High Court's attorneys presented two petitions to the bench in which they contested Gowri's eligibility to serve as a judge of the High Court on the grounds that she had delivered anti-religious-minority hate remarks.

On January 17, the SC Collegium endorsed her name, and on that day, three contentious essays she had written on community issues entered the public domain. 

The petitioners addressed the Supreme Court using this information. 

Senior Attorney Raju Ramachandran stated at the hearing that their challenge was not based on Gowri's political past. Instead, they are worried about supposed "hate speech" in her pieces. 

The issue with Gowri's nomination, according to Justice Khanna, is appropriateness rather than eligibility. “On eligibility, there could be a challenge. But suitability...The courts should not get into suitability otherwise whole process will become haywire.”

He also pointed that the Court cannot, on judicial side, direct the collegium to reconsider its decision. “To assume that the Collegium has not taken these things into account, that may not be appropriate,” he added.

CJI DY Chandrachud revealed that the Supreme Court collegium has taken cognizance of the complaints about Gowri, which came to its notice after the recommendation was made. Senior Advocate Raju Ramachandran had recommended the matter be listed urgently. 
The suggestion about Gowri is to be set aside as unconstitutional for lack of meaningful consultation for the purposes of Article 217 of the Constitution, according to the writ petition submitted by attorneys Anna Mathews, Sudha Ramalingam, and D Nagasila. 

Additionally, the petitioners ask for a ruling that Gowri's bias against minorities disqualifies her from consideration for service as a judge. "A person who bears “ill-will” against sections of people based on their religion cannot render fair and impartial justice, which is a basic structure of the constitution", the petition states.

Appearance of the Advoates:-

For Petitioner(s)
Mr. Raju Ramachandran, Sr. Adv.
Ms. Sanchita Ain, AOR
Mr. Anand Grover, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Srisatya Mohanty, AOR

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