Madras High Court Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari To Administer Oath Of Office To Two New Judges On Monday

Madras High Court Acting Chief Justice (ACJ) T. Raja on Tuesday administered oath of office to L. Victoria Gowri, P.B. Balaji, K.K. Ramakrishnan, R. Kalaimathi and K. Govindarajan Thilakavadi as additional judges of the High Court for a period of two years in the same order of seniority in accordance with their presidential warrant of appointment.

Ms. Gowri took the oath of office even as the Supreme Court was hearing petitions filed by a group of advocates from Chennai opposing her elevation on the ground of having delivered “hate speeches” against religious minorities. The apex court dismissed the cases, on merits, minutes after she completed taking oath.

Even as the oath taking ceremony was taking place inside a meeting hall in the additional library building of the High Court between 10:40 am and 12 noon, some Communist Party of India (Marxist) cadres gathered outside the court campus and raised slogans against her elevation as a judge of the court.

In his welcome address after the administration of oath, Advocate General R. Shunmugasundaram said, Justice Gowri was born on May 21, 1973 and got enrolled with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in 1995 after completing her graduation from the Government Law College in Madurai.

She practiced at the courts in Karur and Kanniyakumari districts before shifting to the Madurai Bench of the High Court in 2008. She was appointed as a Central Government Senior Standing Counsel in 2015 and served as Special Public Prosecutor (in-charge) for Central Bureau of Investigation from September 2020 to May 2022.

She also served as the Assistant Solicitor General (subsequently redesignated as Deputy Solicitor General) in the Madurai Bench till her elevation. “After 27 long years of practice, she has been elevated to adorn the Bench of this prestigious court,” the A-G said while introducing her to the gathering.

Similarly, Justice Balaji was born on April 11, 1973 and studied at Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Senior Secondary School in Chennai. He graduated from the Madras Law College and enrolled with the Bar Council in 1996 before joining the office of his father P.B. Ramanujam. He had 26 years of standing in the Bar.

Justice Ramakrishnan, born on May 27, 1973 was a junior of Justice M.M. Sundresh, now a judge of the Supreme Court, during the latter’s stint as a lawyer. He had practised before the Madurai Bench of the High Court for 16 years and was appointed as Additional Public Prosecutor in 2018.

Justice Kalaimathi was born on April 18, 1968 and holds a Master’s degree in law. Pursuant to her studies, she entered Tamil Nadu State Judicial Service and got appointed as Additional District Munsif in Villupuram. After climbing the judicial ladder over the years, she served last as the District Judge in Salem.

Justice K. Govindarajan Thilakavadi was born on April 2, 1966. She entered judicial service in 1995 as a Judicial Magistrate in Cuddalore and went on to become the Principal District Judge of the same district. Thereafter, she assumed charge as Registrar (District Judiciary) in the Madras High Court till her elevation.

With the appointment of five new judges, the working strength of the High Court had increased from 52 to 57 as against the sanctioned strength of 75 judges. The number of women judges in the court also increased to an all time high of 14 after the induction of the three new women judges.

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