Lawyers urge President to return collegium recommendation to elevate advocate Victoria Gowri as Madras High Court judge

Advocates N.G.R. Prasad, R. Vaigai, V. Suresh and others have written to President Draupadi Murmu stating that Ms. Gowri has delivered hate speeches against minorities, and her “deep rooted religious bigotry” made her unfit to be appointed a High Court judge

Updated - February 02, 2023 06:02 pm IST

Published - February 02, 2023 05:17 pm IST - CHENNAI

Advocate Victoria Gowri.

Advocate Victoria Gowri. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A group of 21 lawyers, including N.G.R. Prasad, Senior Counsel R. Vaigai and V. Suresh have written to President Draupadi Murmu urging her to return the Supreme Court collegium’s January 17 recommendation to elevate advocate Victoria Gowri as a judge of the Madras High Court.

In their representation, the advocates expressed surprise over the collegium having recommended Ms. Gowri’s name despite her “hate speeches” against minorities being available in the form of interviews on YouTube and in publications associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

In support of their case, they flagged comments she had made about conversions and ‘love jihad’. In one interview for instance, she had accused the Roman Catholics of indulging in nefarious activities and insisted that Bharatanatyam should not be performed for Christian songs. Her statements amount to inciting communal discord and call for registration of criminal cases against her, the advocates said.

“Ms. Gowri’s regressive views are completely antithetical to foundational constitutional values and reflect her deep rooted religious bigotry making her unfit to be appointed as a High Court judge... Can any litigant belonging to Muslim or Christian [communities] ever hope to get justice in her court if she becomes a judge?” the lawyers asked. The letter also states: “The Collegium’s recommendation of a person who harbours such strong antipathy towards the minority community is disturbing, to say the least.”

The lawyers have also sent a separate representation to the top three judges constituting the Supreme Court collegium urging them to withdraw their decision.

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