SC pronounced reasons for dismissal of two petitions filed by advocates from Madras HC challenging appointment of Justice L.Victoria Gowri

SC pronounced reasons for dismissal of two petitions filed by advocates from Madras HC challenging appointment of Justice L.Victoria Gowri

The two petitions filed by attorneys from the Madras High Court contesting the appointment of Justice Victoria Gowri as a new judge of the Madras High Court were dismissed by the Supreme Court on February 10. 

Justice Sanjiv Khanna, while pronouncing the order on Friday, said, "We have passed a short order. We have followed the constitutional bench judgment and said we can't go into the question of suitability". Detailed judgment is yet to be uploaded.

The petitions against Gowri's appointment as an additional judge of the Madras High Court were previously dismissed by a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai on Tuesday. The petitioners cited specific publications and statements by Gowri to argue that she is unqualified to serve as a judge because her words amount to hate speech directed towards minorities.

The bench had said during the hearing of the appeal that it could not be assumed that the Collegium was unaware of Gowri's political past or her contentious utterances. When the petitioner cited a precedent of the Supreme Court delaying a judge's appointment on the basis of "eligibility," the bench had further stated that it could not address the issue of "suitability" at this time. 

Read this Report to see the entire courtroom conversation from the hearing on Tuesday. Before the hearing began, read this report on the major drama that had taken place in the Supreme Court. 

On Tuesday, she took her oath of office as a new judge for the Madras High Court while the Supreme Court heard two petitions against her nomination.

On January 17, the collegium, which consists of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph suggested Gowri's name along with those of four other attorneys for promotion to the High Court. Her appointment had been announced by the Center on February 6. However, this choice has drawn criticism from the public, with some in the bar calling the advice "disturbing" and detrimental to the independence of the judiciary. The protesting supporters called attention to the candidate's political links, which she herself admittedly holds as general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party Mahila Morcha. Gowri has also been under fire for using language against religious minorities, particularly Muslims and Christians, that has been referred to as "hate speech." The attorneys wrote President Draupadi Murmu and the Supreme Court collegium on February 2, 2023, asking, "In the backdrop of Ms. Gowri's comments, can any plaintiff belonging to the Muslim or Christian community ever hope to achieve justice in her Court, if she becomes a Judge?


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