Ex- Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam appointed Kerala Governor
NEW DELHI: Brushing aside opposition, the Government on
Wednesday went ahead and appointed former Chief Justice of India Palaniswamy
Sathasivam as the new Governor of Kerala.
65-year-old Sathasivam is the first Chief Justice of
India to be appointed to the post which is lower in warrant of precedence to
the CJI. He is the first non-political person appointed for a gubernatorial
post by the new NDA government.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said that the
President has accepted the resignation of Sheila Dikshit, who submitted her
papers last week, as Governor of Kerala and has appointed Sathasivam with
effect from the date he assumes charge. Sathasivam retired as Chief Justice in
April this year.
Congress had slammed the move to appoint Sathasivam as
Kerala governor and wondered whether the government was ‘pleased’ with his
judgement in the Amit Shah case.
“Why was he made? This raises a question if he has
done some work, for which they are pleased. Prime Minister Modi is pleased,
Amit Shah is pleased and that is why he is being honoured?” Congress
spokesperson Anand Sharma had said Tuesday.
The Congress had slammed the move to appoint him at
the post wondering if there is “anything in his persona, functioning or his
decisions, which has really attracted very warmly, very positively, the
acceptance of Prime Minister and BJP President.”
Sathasivam was on the Supreme Court bench that
scrapped a second FIR against Shah in a fake encounter case, saying it was
linked to the bigger Sohrabuddin Sheikh killing case and did not need to be
The Bar association in Supreme Court and Kerala had
also petitioned the President against appointment of Sathasivam saying there
was impropriety in a person who had served as CJI being appointed as Governor
by the President.
Unfazed by the criticism, Sathasivam said that after
his retirement “I can utilise my service to the people of the state in a better
way compared to other politicians” and added that he would share details after
“I want to utilise my experience for the people of the
particular state (Kerala),” he said after his appointment.
The NDA Government has appointed ten governors so far
which include former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh (Rajasthan), Ram
Naik (Uttar Pradesh), Keshari Nath Tripathi (West Bengal), Om Prakash Kohli
(Gujarat), Balram Ji Das Tandon (Chhattisgarh), Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya
(Nagaland) and Kaptan Singh Solanki (Haryana).
The others appointed were Gujarat Speaker Vajubhai
Vala (Karnataka), C Vidyasagar Rao (Maharashtra) and Mridula Sinha (Goa).
So far nine governors, appointed by previous UPA
government, have tendered their resignation. The latest was Manipur Governor
Vinod Kumar Duggal who submitted the resignation late last week.
Besides Duggal and Dikshit, other Governors who resigned
after being nudged by the NDA government were -- M K Narayanan (West Bengal),
Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), B L Joshi (UP), B V Wanchoo (Goa) and Shekhar Dutt
V Purushothaman, the Governor of Mizoram, had resigned
after he was transferred to Nagaland in July this year while Masharashtra
Governor K Sankaranarayanan tendered his resignation on August 24 after he was
shifted to Mizoram.
After the new Government assumed office, two Governors
including 87-year-old Kamla Beniwal, who had a running battle with Modi when he
was Gujarat Chief Minister when she was governor of the western state, were
Lt Governor of Puducherry Virendra Kataria, a former
Congress leader, was also sacked.
Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi has challenged in
the Supreme Court Centre's purported moves to ease him out of office, bringing
the controversy over removal of UPA-appointed Governors under judicial lens.