Advocates urge ACJ not to administer oath of office to Victoria Gowri until SC hears case against her elevation as judge of Madras HC

A group of lawyers led by advocate N.G.R. Prasad have requested the Acting Chief Justice T. Raja to wait until the apex court hears on Tuesday the case filed against her elevation

Updated - February 06, 2023 08:52 pm IST

Published - February 06, 2023 08:28 pm IST - CHENNAI

A series of quick developments took place one after the other on Monday regarding the elevation of Victoria Gowri as judge of Madras High Court

A series of quick developments took place one after the other on Monday regarding the elevation of Victoria Gowri as judge of Madras High Court | Photo Credit: PICHUMANI K

A group of advocates led by N.G.R. Prasad made a written representation to Madras High Court Acting Chief Justice T. Raja on Monday requesting him not to administer oath of office to advocate L. Victoria Gowri as a judge of the High Court until the Supreme Court hears a case against her elevation on Tuesday.

After a series of quick developments that took place one after the other on Monday regarding her elevation, Mr. Prasad urged the ACJ to await the orders to be passed by the Supreme Court which had initially decided to hear the case on Friday but later advanced it to Tuesday considering the urgency.

The representation pointed out that the Supreme Court collegium had recommended the name of Ms. Gowri, along with four other lawyers, for elevation on January 17. Subsequently, on February 1, Mr. Prasad and 20 other lawyers from Chennai wrote to the President urging her to return the recommendation.

The lawyers also wrote to the collegium requesting it to withdraw the recommendation in the light of “hate speeches” delivered by Ms. Gowri against the religious minorities. The requests were followed by a case filed in the Supreme Court by senior counsel R. Vaigai and others against her elevation.

Mr. Prasad said a mention was made before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud at 12 noon on Monday requesting early hearing of the case and the judges agreed to list it on Friday. However, at 12:12 p.m., the Union Law Minister Kiren Rijju tweeted that she had been appointed as judge of the High Court.

Therefore, senior counsel Raju Ramachandran made a mention once again at 2 p.m. and the CJI’s Bench directed the Supreme Court Registry to take the case on board and list it before the appropriate Bench on Tuesday itself since the Centre had notified her appointment as an additional judge of the High Court.

Stating that there had been a precedent of the Supreme Court in 1992 having quashed the appointment of K.N. Srivastava as a judge of the Gauhati High Court before he took the oath, Mr. Prasad urged the ACJ to not administer oath of office to Ms. Gowri alone until the Supreme Court hears the case against her.

Though the collegium had recommended the name of five advocates and three judicial officers for elevation as judges of the High Court, the Centre had on Monday notified the names of only three advocates (Ms. Gowri, P.B. Balaji and K.K. Ramakrishnan) and two judicial officers (R. Kalaimathi and K.G. Thilakavadi).

The names of two lawyers (V. Lakshminarayanan and R. Neelakandan) and one judicial officer (P. Vadamalai) did not find place in the notification issued by the Union Law Ministry.

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