Madras HC advocates challenge Gowris appointment as judge
Victoria Gowri has been accused of harbouring and spewing hate towards minority groups in the country. Pic:

Lawyers' group challenges Victoria Gowri's appointment as Madras HC judge

The debate surrounding the Supreme Court Collegium’s recommendation to appoint BJP member and advocate Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri as a judge of the Madras High Court continues to be controversial.

Raising objection, a group of Madras High Court Bar advocates has written to President Draupadi Murmu and the Collegium. The advocates’ concerns stem from Gowri’s self-description as “national general secretary of BJP Mahila Morcha” on her Twitter bio.

When the issue came up, Gowri reportedly erased her Twitter account.

A group of 22 advocates has raised concerns over the “hate speeches” made by Gowri against religious minorities. They have requested the Supreme Court Collegium to withdraw its recommendation for her appointment as a judge of the Madras High Court and have asked the President to return the file and seek clarification on how a person spreading hate against minority groups could be recommended for a high constitutional position.

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The Collegium, consisting of Chief Justice Chandrachud, Justices Kaul and Joseph, recommended Gowri’s appointment along with four other advocates on January 17, but did not provide any reasons, unlike its previous recommendations for Saurabh Kirpal, Somasekhar Sundaresan, and R. John Sathyan for judgeship in the Delhi, Bombay, and Madras high courts, respectively.

It is unclear if the Collegium was aware of Gowri’s hate speeches while making the recommendation. The Supreme Court Collegium takes into account reports from Intelligence Bureau and the Centre before making its decision.

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According to reports, Madras High Court Bar members, including advocates N.G.R. Prasad, R. Vaigai, S.S. Vasudevan, and Anna Mathew, have expressed their opposition to Gowri’s appointment as a high court judge in their letters.  The advocates have also cited two interviews Gowri gave on the “Bharat Marg” YouTube channel to support their argument.

According to an article titled ‘Aggressive Baptizing Destroying Social Harmony’, published in the Organiser, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) journal on October 1, 2012, Gowri expressed concern over the lack of action to prevent forced conversions. The author argued that marginalised Hindus have been struggling against the powerful Christian diocese for 50 years, but the situation has now become uncontrollable.

The letters expressed concern over the Collegium’s choice, pointing out that its recommendation of someone who shows such intense dislike towards a minority group is deeply concerning.

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