Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

Petitioners say Lawyer Gowri’s Elevation ‘Aimed at Helping BJP’ in Tamil Nadu

Sruti MD |
The CPI(M) said that the former lawyer, appointed as an additional Judge to the Madras HC, had acted against the Constitution and secularism.
 Lakshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri

Lakshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri. Image Courtesy: Facebook

Just as the Supreme Court (SC) was hearing petitions opposing lawyer Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri ’s elevation as an additional Judge of the Madras High Court (HC), the swearing-in ceremony was underway in Chennai on Tuesday. 

The swearing-in was held in such a hurry, and there was so much drama around it,” says advocate Karl Marx of the HC.

Usually, the ceremony is held a week after the names are announced. But this time, the swearing-in happened the next day,” he tells Newsclick.

Besides Gowri, advocates PB Balaji and KK Ramakrishnan and judicial officers R Kalaimathi and KG Thilakavadi were administered the oath of office by acting chief justice T Raja.

Gowri’s appointment was opposed by the All India Lawyers Union (AILU), Democratic Advocates Association (DAA) and other sections of the HC on grounds of her previous association with the BJP and expressing strong opinions on religious minorities.

At least, after taking the oath, she should uphold the Constitution and not blatantly lean towards any political party,” says Marx.

By the time the swearing-in ceremony was over, the SC dismissed the petitions saying it cannot direct the HC Collegium to reconsider Gowri’s elevation.

The apex court noted that in many instances, an additional Judge is not made permanent when the performance is unsatisfactory. Gowri was the all-India general secretary of the BJP’s wing Bharatiya Mahila Morcha.

Lawyers opposing Gowri’s appointment feel that is aimed at helping the BJP’s growth in Tamil Nadu. “This should not have happened. It was done to help the BJP’s growth in Tamil Nadu. The judiciary is leaning towards one side; it threatens justice, democracy and equality,” DAA’s advocate K Bharathi tells Newsclick.

The AILU claimed that in an interview on a YouTube Channel, she compared Islam to “green horror” and Christianity to “white terror”.

Notably, the Centre had returned advocate R John Sathyan’s name citing an online article critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared by him on social media. His name was recommended in February last year.

Bharathi says the opposing lawyers are “very clear about Gowri not becoming a permanent Judge”. “There are many issues in the Collegium selection process. There is so much lobbying and no written document on how or who should become a Judge. Transparency is needed in the judiciary,” he added.

Two views emerged from within the SC on what the Collegium considered before recommending Gowri’s name. While Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud orally stated that the “developments” were brought to the Collegium’s attention after its recommendation, Justice Sanjiv Khanna said that “all these matters must have been placed before the Collegium”.


As the oath-taking ceremony was taking place, Communist Party of India (Marxist) members protested Gowri’s elevation.

She had direct ties with the RSS till the day she took oath as Judge and was engaging in propaganda. Moreover, she had been acting against the Constitution and secularism. How can we accept such as person as a Judge?” CPI(M) leader G Selva said at the protest site.

The practice has been that lawyers should distance themselves from political activities for a sufficient period prior to assuming a Judge’s office. But we cannot expect such a practice during the BJP’s rule.”

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram