Desh Ki Baat

Who is Lawyer Victoria Gowri and what sparked protest against her

Lawyer Victoria Gowri appointed as Additional judge at Madras High Court

Advocate Victoria Gowri was sworn in as an additional judge of the Madras High Court on February 7. Surprisingly, during her swearing in ceremony, a petition hearing was taking place against her appointment but the SC has dismissed that petition.

There was a heated debate going on between the government and the Supreme Court over the appointment of new judges. Now, after the SC Collegium recommendation, a judge was appointed to Madras High Court but some lawyers filed a plea against the decision.

A group of advocates of Madras High Court bar had last week sent a plea to the CJI seeking recall of the recommendation made for the elevation of Victoria Gowri on the ground that she has made hate speeches against Christians and Muslims during her tenure as a BJP leader.

In a letter addressed to President Drapaudi Murmu and the Supreme Court collegium, the group of lawyers has objected to the collegium’s recommendation to appoint Gowri as she is the general secretary of the BJP’s Mahila Morcha.

“We write, with a sense of foreboding these troubled times, when the judiciary is facing unprecedented and unwarranted criticism from the executive, as we are apprehensive that appoint such as these may pave the way for undermining the independence of the judiciary. It is extremely critical, at this juncture, to safeguard the institution from being weakened by its own administrative action”, the letter said.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai quashed the plea against her appointment. The SC bench said that it cannot presume that the Collegium was not aware of Gowri’s political background.

Read more- “Muslims Kidnap Hindu girls, commit all kinds of sins”: Baba Ramdev

There was great drama in the Supreme Court ahead of the hearing of the petitions as some lawyers protested outside the court. Members belonging to the CPI (M) also staged a protest near the Madras High Court in Chennai on Tuesday.

Who is Advocate Gowri?

Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri is a 49-year-old lawyer from Nagercoil in southern Tamil Nadu district Kanyakumari. She was one of the 17 advocates and three judicial officers proposed by the three-judge collegium headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud. Gowri, who practised for over two decades at the Madurai bench of the Madras HC, joined the BJP Mahila Morcha few years ago.

According to her social media account allegedly belonging to her and speeches available on YouTube, she is holding a general secretary post in BJP. It is still unclear if Gowri continues to be linked with the BJP or resigned.

There was apprehension regarding the Modi govt favoring the lawyers affiliated to BJP’s ideology and with this move the claim seems proven.

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