NEW DELHI: In a rare move, the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an urgent plea seeking to restrain advocate Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri from taking oath as a judge of the Madras High Court, soon after the Centre notified her appointment.
Earlier in the day, minutes after Union law minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted confirming Gowri’s elevation, a bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud had agreed to list the plea for Friday. The hearing was, however, advanced after senior advocate Raju Ramachandran again mentioned the plea, seeking the court’s urgent intervention.
The petitioners, a group of lawyers from Chennai, in their plea referred to the alleged hate speeches made by Gowri. “Her proposed appointment as a judge poses a grave threat to the fair administration of justice and citizens right to the same under Article 21 of the Constitution,” the plea stated.
Urging the bench to stay the warrant of her appointment and swearing in, Ramachandran said certain vital information was not before the six-member collegium when it recommended her name on January 17, 2023. He also referred to the top court’s 1992 ruling of quashing the appointment of an HC judge after finding the person recommended “ineligible.”
Considering the senior counsel’s contention, CJI Chandrachud said the collegium has taken cognisance of the developments that took place after its recommendation. “We can list it tomorrow morning,” Chandrachud said.
Madras high court gets five new judges
The President on Monday appointed five additional judges to the Madras High Court. Of them, Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri, Pillaipakkam Bahukutumbi Balaji and Kandhasami Kulanthaivelu Ramakrishnan are from the Bar while Ramachandran Kalaimathi and Govindarajan Thilakavadi are from the judicial services. A notification of the appointment was issued by the Department of Justice