In the latest development, the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, refused to hear a plea seeking to restrain lawyer Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri from taking oath as a judge of the Madras High Court. A special bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai had assembled at 10.25 am to hear the plea. "We are not entertaining the writ petition. Reasons will follow," the bench added.
Earlier on Monday, February 6, the apex court advanced its hearing on a reference made by senior attorney Raju Ramachandran. The matter was being heard by a 3-member bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud.
What the top court said?
"There are certain developments that have taken place. The Collegium has taken cognisance of what came to our attention after we made the recommendation," the bench stated. "Since we have already taken cognisance, we will list the matter tomorrow (February 7). Let it go before an appropriate bench," the bench had added.
Ramachandran brought up the issue before a bench earlier in the day and sought for an urgent listing of the plea. He also contended that top Madras High Court attorneys had urgently filed it in light of the upcoming appointment and were requesting for interim relief.
He urged the apex court to hear the matter at the earliest. Initially, the bench said it will hear the matter next Monday. But Ramachandran pressed for an earlier date for hearing, and then the Chief Justice agreed to take up the matter on Tuesday.
Advocate Gowri takes oath as Madras HC judge
Meanwhile, advocate Gowri on Tuesday took the oath of office as the additional judge of Madras High Court. Following usual practice including reading out the Warrant of Appointment issued by the President, Gowri was administered the oath of office by Acting Chief Justice of Madras High Court Justice T Raja. Apart from Gowri, four others also took oath as additional judges of the High Court.
Following the ceremony, Madras High court advocates staged a protest after Gowri took the oath. According to reports, the protest was carried out under the aegis of All India Lawyers Union.
Centre appoints 13 additional judges to high courts
However, a short while before the petition was mentioned for urgent hearing, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted that the Centre has appointed 13 additional judges to high courts, which included Gowri's name.
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A group of Madras High Court lawyers have opposed Gowri's proposed appointment after reports emerged about her affiliation to the BJP and also certain alleged statements about Muslims and Christians, including 'Love Jihad' and illegal conversion.
It should be mentioned here that the Supreme Court Collegium, on January 17, had proposed the elevation of advocate Gowri, as judge of the Madras High Court
(With IANS inputs)