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As senior judges wait, Justices Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna elevated to SC

The elevation of both the judges is confirmed by President Ram Nath Kovind today

Wednesday January 16, 2019 9:58 PM, ummid.com News Network

Junior Judges Elevated to SC

New Delhi: Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Delhi High Court judge Sanjiv Khanna were Wednesday elevated as judges of the Supreme Court, the government said.

The five-member SC Collegium headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde, NV Ramana and Arun Mishra besides him had on January 11 recommended the elevation of the two to the top court.

The SC Collegium had in December last year decided to recommend Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice Rajendra Menon and Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog for elevation to the top court. But the decision was reversed in January, with the Collegium sending the names of Justice Maheshwari and Justice Khanna.

The elevation of both the judges is confirmed by President Ram Nath Kovind today.

A section of the legal fraternity however argued that the elevation of Justice Maheshwari and Justice Khanna would unfairly supersede many senior judges, including Justice Nandrajog.

Justice SK Kaul, a sitting judge of the top court has already expressed his reservations in writing to Chief Justice Gogoi. Former judge of the Delhi High Court, Kailash Gambhir, has also written to the President, calling the out-of-turn elevation of the judges "appalling" and "outrageous".

Less than two months ago, Justice Maheshwari was superseded during the appointment of Justice Ajay Rastogi. "Now out of the blue, he becomes more deserving and suitable within such a short gap," Justice Gambhir wrote in his letter.

Expressing surprise over the elevation of junior judges to the top court, former Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha said the Collegium must reveal the reasons why the decision was upturned.

"What I always feel is that the Collegium should act in a transparent manner, and people must know why a decision was upturned. The Collegium works as an institution. It is an institutional body; it is not an individual's decision. A junior judge was superseded to the Supreme Court, it surprises me," Justice Lodha said.

Meanwhile, the Bar Council of India, in a resolution passed today, urged the Supreme Court collegium to recall its 10 January recommendation for Justice Khanna and Justice Maheshwari.

Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul of the Supreme Court has also written a note to the Chief Justice and other members of the collegium - Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde, NV Ramana and Arun Mishra. Justice Kaul is learnt to have argued that wrong signal would go out if the two Chief Justices, who are up in the seniority list than Justice Khanna, would be left out for elevation as apex court judges.

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