The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the names of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, the chief justice of the Karnataka High Court, and Justice Sanjiv Khanna of the Delhi High Court for elevation as judges of the apex court. The five-member Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi took the decision in its meeting on January 10 to recommend the names of justices Maheshwari and Khanna for their elevation to the Supreme Court.
The decision of the Collegium, comprising justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde, N V Ramana and Arun Mishra, was made public on the apex court's website Friday. The apex court, which has a sanctioned strength of 31 judges, is presently functioning with 26 judges. The decision put on the website noted the issue of elevation of judges was deliberated on December 12, 2018, when Justice M B Lokur was also a member of the Collegium. Justice Mishra became a member of the Collegium after Justice Lokur retired on December 30.
According to the website, after extensive deliberations on January 5 and 6 this year, the newly constituted Collegium deemed it appropriate to have a fresh look on the issue of elevation of judges in the light of the additional material that became available. "While recommending the names of justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna the Collegium has taken into consideration combined seniority on all-India basis of chief justices and senior puisne judges of high courts, apart from their merit and integrity," the collegium said, adding that the Collegium has also kept in mind the desirability of giving due representation on the Bench of the Supreme Court, as far as possible, to all the high courts.
Justice Maheshwari was appointed a judge of the Rajasthan High Court on September 2, 2004, and was transferred to Allahabad High Court on July 19, 2014. He was elevated as Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court on February 24, 2016, and was thereafter transferred to Karnataka High Court on February 12, 2018. He has been functioning there since then. Justice Maheshwari stands at Sl. No. 21 in the combined seniority of high court judges on the all-India basis.
Justice Khanna was appointed a judge of the Delhi High Court on June 24, 2005, and since has been functioning there. He stands at Sl.No. 33 in the combined seniority of high court judges on the all-India basis. If elevated, Justice Khanna would become chief justice of India after Justice D Y Chandrachud in 2024.
(With inputs from agencies.)