Sathasivam is the first chief justice of India to be appointed to the post
New Delhi: Brushing aside opposition, the government on Wednesday went ahead and appointed former chief justice of India (CJI) Palaniswamy Sathasivam as the new governor of Kerala.
Sixty five-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 National Democratic Alliance 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 (Narendra) Modi is pleased, Amit Shah is pleased and that is why he is being honoured?," Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma had said on 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 Bharatiya Janata Party 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 separate. 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.