A section 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 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 N G R 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 K M 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 Collegium's recommendation of a person who harbours such strong antipathy towards the minority community is disturbing, to say the least, it stated.
Any person spewing vitriolic comment of the nature ought to be prosecuted under Sections 153 A, 153 B, 295 A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, the advocates claimed.
In order to substantial their claims, the advocates cited youtube links of her two interviews captioned 'The more threat to national security and Peace? Jihad or Christian Missionary? and Cultural genocide by Christian Missionaries in Bharat -- Victoria Gowri'.
They also cited an article titled 'Aggressive baptising destroying social harmony' published on October 1, 2012 in an RSS publication.