For the first time in Indian history, an ex-chief Justice of India has been appointed governor, despite several objections from the bar and the public when the news began to trickle down the media on Justice P. Sathasivam as Governor of Kerala.
Brushing aside the objections, the NDA government on Wednesday appointed Justice P. Sathasivam as Governor of Kerala, triggering Congress criticism which termed the move as thanks-giving gesture for his verdict in Amit Shah case. Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma questioned the appointment saying, “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 ?”
The Supreme Court bench led by Justice Sathasivam scrapped a second FIR against Shah, saying it was not needed as the case was linked to the bigger Sohrabuddin Sheikh killing case. Sathasivam, 65, from Tamil Nadu, was the 40th chief justice of India for 10 months and retired in April 2014.
Criticising the appointment, another retired Supre Court judge KT Thomas said that retired Supreme Court and high court judges should not be given appointments for at least two years which should be a “quarantine period”. They should only be considered for judicial inquiry commissions during the period, owing to their crucial positions as apex court judges, he said.
Even Kerala High Court Advocates Association on Tuesday passed a resolution requesting President Pranab Mukherjee not to appoint P Sathasivam as Kerala Governor but the government has decided to ignore the opposition to go ahead with the appointment.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy too opposed the appointment saying he was not consulted despite the prevalent practice. “The usual practice is to consult the CM concerned before the appointment of the governor. “But the practice has not been followed in this case.”