Appointment of ex-CJI as Governor not good for democracy in India, says AAP

The Aam Aadmi Party slammed the BJP-led NDA government over the appointment of former Chief Justice of India Palaniswamy Sathasivam as the new Governor of Kerala and said that the independence and credibility of the judiciary should be maintained.

Updated: Sep 03, 2014, 22:23 PM IST

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party slammed the BJP-led NDA government over the appointment of former Chief Justice of India Palaniswamy Sathasivam as the new Governor of Kerala and said that the independence and credibility of the judiciary should be maintained.

It also said that the government should “justify the appointment on ground that it does not violate set procedures but it compromises independence of judiciary.”

It added - “Position of CJI is sacrosanct and certain restraints need to be observed, both by the government and by the individuals.”

The party further observed - “The central government’s decision and former CJI’s consent to accept the post of Governor does not augur well for future of democracy in the country.”

According to Arvind Kejriwal-led party the “independence and credibility of the judiciary should be maintained and dignity and protocol of the CJI’s office should be protected.”

Brushing aside opposition, the government today went ahead and appointed Sathasivam as the new Governor of Kerala.

65-year-old Sathasivam is the first CJI 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 (Narendra) Modi is pleased, Amit Shah is pleased and that is why he is being honoured?," Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma had said yesterday.

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 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.

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 the swearing-in, as per PTI.

"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 Tandan (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.

With PTI inputs