Former Delhi High Court judge and Senior Advocate Kailash Gambhir J. has written a strongly worded letter to the President of India, taking objection to the recommendation of the Collegium to elevate Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dinesh Maheshwari to the Supreme Court.
The letter states that the decision has sent shockwaves across the entire legal and judicial fraternity, and urges the President to prevent a “historical blunder” from being committed.
Gambhir J. says in his letter that when he first saw the news on television, he did not believe the same. However, much to his dismay, detailed coverage on legal websites confirmed the news.
He terms the decision by which 32 judges have been superseded, as “appalling, outrageous and earth shattering” and one that casts aspersions on the merit, integrity and intellect of the superseded judges.
“This is appalling and outrageous that such an earth shattering decision has been taken to supersede as many as 32 judges which include many Chief Justices, casting aspersions on their intellect, merit and integrity.”
Gambhir J. also wrote in detail about legendary Supreme Court judge, Justice HR Khanna, who was the uncle of Justice Sanjiv Khanna. Citing the dissent of Justice HR Khanna in ADM Jabalpur, Gambhir J. says that he was the only judge who had the honour of having his portrait unveiled in Supreme Court during his lifetime.
The letter goes on to state that the talk in the Court corridors is that the recommendation to elevate Justice Sanjiv Khanna to the Supreme Court is with a view to “pay respect to the legacy left by his great uncle”.
However, the elevation of Justice Sanjiv Khanna superseding 32 senior judges will be a black day for the judiciary, says Gambhir J.
“It will be another black day when there will be supersession of 32 judges who are senior to Justice Sanjiv Khanna and many of them may be no less meritorious and men of integrity than him.”
The letter also mentions the recommendation to elevate Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, stating that Justice Maheshwari was superseded by the Collegium a month and a half back. Now out of the blue, he becomes more deserving and suitable within such a short gap, the letter states.
Gambhir J concludes his letter by requesting that the credibilty and independence of the judiciary be preserved, and that another historical blunder not be committed.
Read the letter: