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Written to president, CJI to reconsider appointment of Victoria Gowri as Madras HC judge: Vaiko

Madurai: Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary and MP Vaiko on Tuesday said he has written to the President and the Chief Justice of India to reconsider the appointment of Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri as an additional judge of the Madras High Court.
"The appointment of a controversial figure like Victoria Gowri as a judge is against the principles of secularism," Vaiko said. Vaiko further added that Victoria Gowri has criticized Christians and Muslims at times and is therefore "unfit to be a judge".
"Her appointment as a judge comes as a shock. We have written to the President and the Chief Justice to reconsider this," Vaiko said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to entertain a plea against the appointment of Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri as an additional judge of the Madras High Court.
A bench of Justices Sanjeev Khanna and BR Gavai declined to stay the oath ceremony of advocate Victoria Gowri as a Madras High Court judge.

Victoria Gowri took oath as an additional judge of the Madras High Court, while the hearing was going on in the apex court.
The court said that it could not presume that the Collegium was not aware of Gowri's political background or her controversial statements and that the top court would not at this juncture interfere with the Collegium's decision.
"We are not entertaining the writ petition. Reasons will follow," the apex court said while concluding the hearing.
Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for the petitioners, said Victoria Gowri has been rendered unfit to take oath due to her public utterances.
Justice Khanna said there are instances of persons with political backgrounds being appointed as judges.
The materials are of speeches from 2018 and the Collegium must have gone through before recommending the name of Victoria Gowri, the bench observed.
Justice BR Gavai said, "I also have a political background before joining the court as a judge, I have been a judge for 20 years and my political background has not come in my way."

Ramachandran said that this was not a matter of mere political speeches or opinions by Victoria Gowri but many of her statements amount to hate speech.
He said, "Hate speech is something which runs antithesis to the constitution and such an oath will be an insincere oath and only on paper."
The bench then said that the Collegium must have considered such material and passing a judicial order now would amount to going against the Collegium's wisdom. The apex court also said that the appointment of Victoria Gowri is only as an additional judge and the Collegium can reconsider its decision and not make her permanent after her tenure as an additional judge is over. (ANI)

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