President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday cleared the appointment of Justices Dinesh Maheswari and Sanjiv Khanna to the Supreme Court amid opposition from several people from the legal fraternity, LiveLaw reported.

The appointments will take effect from the day they assume charge of their new posts, ANI reported.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Bar Council of India said it would express its dissent against the Collegium’s decision and demand that it recall or reconsider its recommendation. Bar Council chairperson MK Mishra had threatened to stage a protest if the Collegium does not comply with their demands and described the “supersession of several judges” as “unjust and improper”.

The panel had also criticised the revocation of the earlier recommendations of judges Pradeep Nandrajog and Rajendra Menon to positions within the top court.

Since the top court’s decision on January 10, several major names within the judiciary have expressed their dissent against the recommendation. The council said it has no grievance against Khanna, but that he “can wait his turn”.

The collegium – comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde, NV Ramana and Arun Mishra – took the decision at a meeting on January 10. The Supreme Court, which has a sanctioned strength of 31 judges, currently has five vacancies.

Maheshwari was appointed as a judge of the Rajasthan High Court in 2004 and transferred to the Allahabad High Court in 2014. He was elevated as Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court in February 2016 and then transferred to the Karnataka High Court in February 2018. “Justice Dinesh Maheshwari stands at Sl. No. [serial number] 21 in the combined seniority of High Court Judges on all-India basis,” the order said.

Khanna was appointed as a judge of the Delhi High Court in 2005 and has been functioning there since then. “He stands at Sl.No. 33 in the combined seniority of High Court Judges on all-India basis,” the collegium said. “The Collegium while recommending the name of Justice Sanjiv Khanna for elevation to the Supreme Court is well conscious of his seniority position in the Delhi High Court also.”