More than dozen of reputable Senior lawyer of the Madras High Court Bar association has opposed the Supreme Court collegium’s recommendation to elevate advocate Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri for judgeship at the Madras HC and demanded her immediate recall.
In separate letters addressed to President Droupadi Murmu and the Supreme Court collegium, the group of advocates objected to the collegium’s recommendation saying her appointment would undermine the independence of the judiciary.
Gowri, by her own admission, is the general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party Mahila Morch, the memorandum signed by 22 lawyers including senior advocates NGR Prasad, R Vaigai, Anna Mathew, D Nagasaila and Sudha Ramalingam, said.
“We write with a sense of foreboding, in these troubled times, when the Judiciary is facing unprecedented and unwarranted criticism from the Executive, as we are apprehensive that appointments such as these may pave the way for undermining the independence of the Judiciary,” the memorandum said.
It is extremely critical, at this juncture, to safeguard the institution from being weakened by its own administrative action, it said.
The collegium, comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph had on January 17 proposed the names of Gowri and four other lawyers for elevation to the high court.
The Madras High Court Bar members alleged that 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.”
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.
” Any person spewing vitriolic comments of this nature ought to be prosecuted under Sections 153A, 153B, 295A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, the advocates have asserted.
To substantiate their claims, reliance has been placed on remarks made by the Supreme Court’s nominee, in two interviews on a YouTube channel. ( both videos removed by her on the date of publication )
The interviews are captioned ‘The More Threat to National Security & Peace?Jihad or Christian Mission and ‘Cultural genocide by Christian Missionaries in Bharat – Victoria Gowri’.
They also cite an article titled ‘Aggressive baptising destroying social published on October 1, 2012 in an RSS publication, in which Gowri wrote,
“But not a finger is lifted to stop allured and coerced conversions and to and to prevent Christians from conceiving communal conflicts,” and “for fifty years, the marginalised Hindus have been fighting the mighty Christian diocese. But now the situation is out of control.”