New Delhi, February 7
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a plea seeking to restrain lawyer Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri from taking oath as an additional judge of the Madras High Court.
Gowri took oath of office as the additional judge of the high court while the hearing was under way in the apex court. “We are not entertaining the writ petition. Reasons will follow,” said a special bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai, which assembled at 10.25am to hear the plea, five minutes before the scheduled time of the court.
The oath to Gowri was administered by Madras High Court Acting Chief Justice T Raja at around 10.48am, while the top court was hearing arguments on why Gowri should not be elevated.
During the hearing, the bench told senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who was appearing for the petitioners, that there is a difference between eligibility and suitability.
Ramachandran referred to Article 217 of the Constitution which deals with appointment and conditions of the office of a judge of a high court. He said a person who is not in sync with the ideals and basic principles of the Constitution is unfit to take the oath because the oath talks of true faith and allegiance to the Constitution.
The bench observed that the petitioners had placed certain materials on record and these things must have been placed before the Collegium also which had recommended Gowri's name for elevation as a judge on the high court.
"When the collegium takes a decision, it also takes opinion of the consultee judges who are from that particular high court and you cannot assume that judges who are from that particular high court are not aware about all these things," the bench said.
The top court said Gowri is being appointed as an additional judge of the high court.
"If the candidate is not true to the oath and if it is found that she has not discharged the duties as per the oath, is the collegium not entitled to take a view of that? And there have been instances where people have not been confirmed," the bench said.
On Monday, a bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud had in the forenoon put the plea of three Madras high court lawyers opposing the proposed appointment of Gowri for hearing on February 10 but later advanced it to February 7 after Ramachandran again mentioned it, saying the Centre had notified her appointment.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
Resolutions in Punjab, Haryana Houses against HP water cess
Within rights to do so, says Sukhu | Cites Uttarakhand & J&K...
To nail gangsters, Haryana passes MCOCA-type Bill
Withdrawn twice; Oppn Cong questions ‘sweeping powers’
10 lakh addicts in Punjab, minister tells Vidhan Sabha
Comprise 3% of state’s 3.17 crore population