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Justice Gowri's appointment: SC says it can't go into question of suitability

New Delhi: The Supreme Court, which had on February 7 refused to entertain two pleas seeking to restrain Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri from taking oath as an additional judge of the Madras High Court, on Friday pronounced the reasons for the dismissal of the petitions.

"We have followed the constitution bench judgement and can't go into the question of suitability," a bench headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna said while pronouncing the order.

However, the detailed order is yet to be uploaded on the apex court website.

The two pleas, including one moved by three Madras High Court lawyers, had opposed Gowri's appointment as an additional judge.

Minutes before the top court had on February 7 dismissed the pleas against Gowri's appointment, she was administered the oath of office as an additional judge by Madras High Court's Acting Chief Justice T Raja.

During the hearing on February 7, the top court had observed that Gowri has been appointed as an additional judge and if she is not true to the oath or does not discharge her duties in accordance with the oath, the collegium is entitled to take a view of that, while pointing out that there have been instances where people have not been made permanent judges.

"We are not entertaining the writ petition. Reasons will follow," a special bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai had said on Wednesday.

The petitioners -- lawyers Anna Mathew, Sudha Ramalingam and D Nagasaila -- in on of the pleas had referred to alleged hate speeches made by Gowri against Muslims and Christians.

The proposal to elevate the woman lawyer, who had been representing the Centre before the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, was mired in controversy after reports emerged about her alleged affiliation with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Some bar members of the high court had written to the chief justice of India (CJI), seeking a recall of the recommendation made for appointing Gowri as an additional judge of the court. (PTI)

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