Advocate and former Bharatiya Janata Party leader in Tamil Nadu L. Victoria Gowri was sworn in as an additional judge of the Madras High Court on Tuesday.
The 49-year-old Victoria Gowri is amongst the 17 lawyers listed by the three-judge collegium headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud. At the oath-taking ceremony, Gowri promised to “work for the cause of the unheard and the oppressed voices of the poorest of the poor”.
The Supreme Court dismissed petitions against her elevation as a judge. The petitioners had cited Ms Gowri’s alleged hate speech against Muslims and Christians, arguing it made her unfit to take the oath.
The SC bench observed it cannot presume that the collegium did not take note of the materials against Gowri. “The materials are of speeches from 2018 the collegium must have gone through”, the bench commented during the hearing, expressing its difficulty in interfering with a decision made by the collegium.
Victoria Gowri is married and has two daughters. She has over 21 years of experience. She has also been a regular contributor of articles to the Organiser, the official mouthpiece of the RSS. She hails from Thakalay near Kanyakumari. She enrolled as a lawyer in 1995. She practiced in civil, criminal, tax and labour matters as an advocate during her early days of career.
The now Madras HC judge pursued her law degree from the Madurai Law College. It was from there her association with the RSS began. She was an active member of the Seva Bharati, an arm of the RSS.
Gowri’s appointment to the position has been fraught with controversies. She was an active member of the BJP until September 2020 when she took over as assistant solicitor general. She is also the first Woman Lawyer to establish an independent office in Kanyakumari District.
When the controversy over her appointment broke out in January, some 40 advocates from the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, where she was serving as an assistant solicitor general, signed a petition in her support.