Ex-CJI Sathasivam named new Kerala governor

New Delhi: Former Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam was Wednesday appointed the new governor of Kerala, overriding criticism from the Congress as well as the legal fraternity.

A Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said President Pranab Mukherjee had accepted the resignation of Sheila Dikshit, a former chief minister of Delhi and a Congress leader.

The communique said Sathasivam would be the governor "with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office".

Sheila Dikshit resigned as Kerala governor Aug 26.

A source from the Raj Bhavan in told IANS in Thiruvananthapuram that Sathasivam's swearing-in ceremony will take place at 9.30 a.m. Friday.

Dikshit will be given a farewell and a guard of honour at the airport here at 10.30 a.m. Friday, according to an official communication from the Kerala government.

The decision of the central government to appoint Sathasivam as Kerala governor evoked strong criticism from the state government and the Congress leadership.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the central government did not consult his government before taking the decision to appoint Sathasivam as governor.

The Congress termed the appointment "inappropriate" both on the part of the appointee and those appointing.

Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma slammed the government for patronising retired judges.

Opposition to Sathasivam's appointment has also came from his own fraternity.

Former chief justices of India, Justice A.M. Ahmadi, Justice G.B. Patnaik and Justice V.N. Khare expressed reservations over Sathasivam's appointment.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said in a statement Wednesday that the government's decision to appoint Sathasivam as the Kerala governor will set a wrong precedent.

"The position of Chief Justice of India is sacrosanct and certain restraints need to be observed, both by the government and by the individuals who have held this top position in the country's judiciary," the statement said.

Since the Narendra Modi government took charge May 26, eight governors have resigned - B.L. Joshi (Uttar Pradesh), Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), M.K. Narayanan (West Bengal), B.V. Wanchoo (Goa), Vakkom B. Purushothaman (Mizoram), K. Sankaranarayanan (Maharashtra) and Dikshit.

Kamla Beniwal was first shunted out from Gujarat to Mizoram and then sacked Aug 6 for misuse of her position as governor.

Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva and Karnataka Governor H.R. Bharadwaj managed to complete their tenures.

Four prominent BJP leaders were Aug 26 named governors of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa on a day Dikshit succumbed to pressure and put in her papers. Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan resigned Aug 25.



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