CHENNAI: Amid several twists and turns, advocate LC Victoria Gowri, and four others on Tuesday assumed charge as the additional judges of Madras High Court.
Acting Chief Justice T Raja administered the oath of office to the new judges in the presence of HC judges and judicial officers.
Along with Gowri, Pillaipakkam Bahukutumbi Balaji, Kandhasami Kulandaivelu Ramakrishnan, and judicial officers Ramachandran Kalaimathi, and K Govindarajan Thilakavadi have assumed charge as the additional judge of Madras High Court.
Even though the High Court issued a circular stating that the swearing-in of new judges will be held by 10.35 pm, it was a question of whether the event would occur or not. The uncertainty was due to a batch of petitions pending before the division bench of the Supreme Court challenging the appointment of Gowri as the judge to Madras High Court.
However, the oath of administration ceremony was presided over by the ACJ in a packed hall of Madras High Court. Significantly, the Supreme Court bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai dismissed the pleas challenging the appointment on the ground that they cannot entertain the pleas.
The Supreme Court dismissed the pleas on the ground that it cannot presume that the collegium was not aware of Gowri's political background and her controversial statements.
"The alleged speeches submitted as materials in the petitions date back to 2018," the bench added.
Further, the Supreme Court noted that proceeding into this issue would be the act of opening a new judiciary which it had refrained from doing so.
On January 17, the Supreme Court collegium recommended the name of Gowri for the post of the additional judge to Madras HC. However, a section of advocates protested the decision saying that Gowri was a BJP functionary and she made hate speech against minorities.
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