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Victoria Gowri takes oath as Madras HC judge; SC dismisses plea against her

The SC said it cannot presume the Collegium was not aware of her political background

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The Supreme Court has dismissed the petition challenging the appointment of Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri as an additional judge of the Madras High Court. This came just as Victoria Gowri took oath as the judge, alongside four others, in Chennai.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai, while hearing the plea against Victoria Gowri, said that it cannot presume that the Collegium was not aware of Gowri's political backgrounds.

The bench added that she is only being appointed as an Additional Judge and there are instances where persons have not been confirmed, reported Live Law.

In the plea filed before the Supreme Court, the petitioners, lawyers Anna Mathew, Sudha Ramalingam and D Nagasaila, alleged that Victoria Gowri made hate speeches against Muslims and Christians.  

The petitioners alleged that "the issue was of eligibility and not the suitability and vital information was not put before the collegium which created the handicap." "She has shown strong prejudice during her public speeches against citizens on the ground of their religious affiliation, which disqualifies her under Art. 217(2)(b) from dispensing justice, without fear or favour, and affection or ill-will," the plea alleged. 

However, Justice Khanna said that the issue with respect to Gowri’s appointment is not one of eligibility but of suitability. "On eligibility, there could be a challenge. But suitability...The courts should not get into suitability otherwise whole process will become haywire," he added.

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.

Victoria Gowri's name was reccomended by the SC Collegium on January 17 and soon after certain controversial articles and written by her on communal lines surfaced in the public domain. 

The petitioners also cited an interview done by the now-judge in which she likened Christianity to terror. In the her interviews, captioned, 'More Threat to National Security and Peace Jihad or Christian Missionary - Answers Victoria Gowri?' uploaded on February 27, 2018, (now not available for public viewing from YouTube), Gowri reportedly said, 'Like Islam is green terror, Christianity is white terror', the plea alleged.

She further stated, "Christian groups are more dangerous than Islam groups. Both are equally dangerous in the context of love jihad'," it alleged. 


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