January 12, 2019:
The Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has recommended the appointment of Karnataka Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Delhi HC’s Justice Sanjiv Khanna as SC judges.
The collegium also includes Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde, N V Ramana and Arun Mishra.
In March 2018, then senior-most SC judge J Chelameswar had levelled serious allegations against Justice Maheshwari.
When Justice Maheshwari as Karnataka CJ had sought an explanation from a district judge in a pending sexual harassment complaint, despite the SC accepting a hurriedly given clean chit to him, Justice Chelameswar had written to the then CJI, “The CJ of Karnataka HC has been more than willing to do the executive’s bidding behind our back.”
Justice Chelameswar added, “At that time, we (the SC collegium) were aware of the allegations but we consciously and rightly disbelieved them. Surprisingly, the government selectively withheld recommendation for his elevation and accepted that for the remaining five others, though all the five are junior to Bhat.”
But the present collegium appears to have ignored the jibes thrown by Justice Chelameswar at Justice Maheshwari.