January has been controversial for judiciary since last year, and now Justice Maheshwari of the Karnataka High Court and Justice Sanjiv Khanna of the Delhi High Court have been appointed as Supreme Court judges, amid raging controversy.
The recommendation by the Supreme Court collegium has come under scanner after Justice Khanna of the Delhi High Court superseded 32 judges to become the Supreme Court judge and Justice Maheshwari of the Karnataka High Court, who remained at the seniority level of 21, was also superseded to elevated to Supreme Court.
Although, the collegium had taken a decision to elevate Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court and Justice Rajendra Menon, Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court to be elevated to the Supreme Court but Justice Madan Lokur, who was a part the collegium and decided upon these judges had retired on December 30 and Justice Arun Mishra was inducted.
But, the controversy arose when the aforementioned judges were removed form the collegium and new judges were nominated who had superseded more than two dozen of Justices across the high courts of India.
Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar said, “They (Justices Menon and Nandrajog) are men of integrity and judicial competence; nobody can raise a finger against these judges on any ground. The decision of 10th January, 2019 will certainly lead to humiliation and demoralisation of such judges and also of several other deserving senior judges and Chief Justices of High Courts.”
Justice Kailash Gambhir, who was a former Delhi High Court judge, had written to the President Ram Nath Kovind stating that if these two judges are elevated to the Supreme Court, then it would be “appalling and outrageous.”