Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna were sworn in as judges of the Supreme Court on Friday. The top court now has 28 judges as against the sanctioned strength of 31.
The swearing-in ceremony took place in the chamber of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi at 10.30 am on Friday, Live Law reported. Maheshwari was earlier the chief justice of the Karnataka High Court, while Khanna was a judge of the Delhi High Court.
Maheshwari’s term in the Supreme Court will continue till May 15, 2023, and Khanna’s will end on May 14, 2025.
The Supreme Court collegium had on January 10 recommended their names for elevation to the top court. It was cleared by President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday. Four retired judges of the top court and Delhi High Court had questioned the recommendations.
Reports said on Wednesday that a sitting Supreme Court judge, Sanjay Kaul, had also told Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi about his objection to the decision.
The collegium that met in December had reportedly decided to elevate Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajendra Menon. However, on January 10, the collegium comprising Gogoi and Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde, NV Ramana and Arun Mishra decided to elevate Khanna and Maheshwari instead.
Former Delhi High Court judge Kailash Gambhir wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, in a letter dated January 14, objecting to the collegium’s recommendation. The former judge said that elevating Khanna would mean superseding three judges senior to him in the Delhi High Court and 30 judges senior to him across the country, including chief justices. Maheshwari on the other hand, had earlier been superseded for elevation.