Victoria Gowri was sworn in as the Madras High Court judge who dismissed the plea of the lawyers.
Advocate LC Victoria Gowri was sworn in as an additional judge of the Madras High Court on Tuesday after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition challenging her elevation to the high court by the collegium. Madras High Court Acting Chief Justice T Raja administered oath to Gowri and 4 others.
The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing on the petitions against Gowri’s appointment as her swearing-in was scheduled to take place at 10.35 am. A fresh bench comprising Justices Sanjeev Khanna and PR Kawai heard the case.
In a dramatic turn of events, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would consider a plea to stay the appointment of Gowri within 24 hours of the Center announcing her appointment, following a recommendation by the Supreme Court collegium.
A registrar’s circular said that Gowri will be sworn in as Additional Judge of the Madras High Court at 10.35 am as the petitions filed citing alleged hate speech against Christians and Muslims are expected to come up for hearing before the bench. High Court General on Monday night.
There is only one instance in the history of the judiciary where the Supreme Court has quashed the appointment of a High Court judge. In 1992, the Supreme Court quashed the appointment of a state government officer, declaring him ineligible as a member of the judiciary to be appointed as a High Court judge.
However, during the hearing of the case, the Central Government and the Guwahati High Court authorities barred the candidate from administering the oath of office.
Gowri has been appointed as an additional judge of the High Court and will be confirmed as a permanent judge after two years, after which the Supreme Court collegium will assess his overall merit and competence.
On Tuesday, Justice Chandrachud granted urgent hearing to two petitions filed by some Chennai-based lawyers, who argued that Gowri was unfit to hold constitutional office because of hate speech against Christians and Muslims, apart from her apparent political association with the BJP. .
After the cases were mentioned for immediate hearing, the CJI, on his part, revealed that “the collegium is already aware of the developments” that took place after the collegium made its recommendation to elevate Gowri on January 17.
“The collegium is aware that it was brought to our attention or came to our attention after we formulated our recommendations based on the recommendation of the collegium of the Madras High Court. Since we are aware of some developments that have taken place since then, we may list the petition tomorrow morning. I will constitute a bench. Let it go before the appropriate bench,” the collegium chairman said. The judge told senior advocates Raju Ramachandran and Anand Grover, appearing for the petitioners.
According to people familiar with the matter, the Collegium last week took cognizance of certain defamatory and communal statements made against Gowri and began the process of verifying them. These materials were not part of the documents sent to the Supreme Court Collegium from the Central Government conducting the inquiry by the High Court Collegium or the Intelligence Bureau (IP), the people mentioned above said.
Two separate petitions filed by Chennai-based lawyers argued that Gowri was legally ineligible to be appointed as a judge of the Constitutional Court due to the lack of effective consultation between the administration and the collegium on his precedent, which would have exposed his antics against minorities in the country. .
The petitions allege that before the Supreme Court or Madras High Court College recommended her for appointment as a High Court judge, all the information related to Gowri was not submitted.