Supreme Court To Hear Petition Just Before Victoria Gowri’s Swearing-in As Madras HC judge Today
New Delhi: The Supreme Court preponed the hearing of petitions against the appointment of advocate LC Victoria Gowri as a Madras high court judge in the wake of her swearing-in scheduled for 10.35am on Tuesday.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud is expected to head the new three-judge bench, which will commence the hearing around 9.15am.
Soon after the Centre notified her judgeship, the Supreme Court on Monday advanced the hearing to Tuesday from Friday.
The proposal to elevate the woman lawyer, who has been representing the Centre before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, has been mired in controversy after reports emerged about her alleged affiliation to the BJP.
The top court had earlier agreed to hear on February 10 the petition against her elevation but the matter was mentioned again and the hearing was fixed for Tuesday by a bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud which said the collegium has taken note of “certain developments” after her name was recommended to the Centre.
During the second mention, the bench was apprised by senior advocate Raju Ramachandran that the Centre has notified the appointment of Ms Gowri as an additional judge of the Madras High Court and urged for urgent intervention.
Some bar members of the Madras High Court had written to the Chief Justice of India seeking recall of the recommendation made for appointing Gowri as an additional judge of the high court alleging she made hate speeches against Christians and Muslims.
There has only been a singular incident in the judicial history when an appointment of a high court judge has been quashed by the Supreme Court. In 1992, the apex court nixed the appointment of a state government officer, declaring him to be ineligible as a member of the judicial service to be appointed as a high court judge.
Gowri has been cleared as an additional judge of the high court and she will be up for confirmation as a permanent judge after two years when the Supreme Court collegium will assess her overall competence and suitability.
On Tuesday, Justice Chandrachud agreed to grant an urgent hearing to the two petitions filed by some lawyers from Chennai, contending that Gowri is disqualified from holding the constitutional post because of her hate speeches against Christians and Muslims, besides her open political affiliation with the BJP.
After the cases were mentioned for an imminent hearing, the CJI, on his part, disclosed that the “collegium has already taken cognisance of the developments” that took place after the recommendation for elevating Gowri was made by the collegium on January 17.
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