New Delhi: Despite objections from many quarters, Narendra Modi-led NDA government on Wednesday appointed ex-Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam as 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 President Pranab Mukherjee had accepted the resignation of 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".
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 told reporters.
Sathasivam was on the Supreme Court bench that scrapped a second FIR against Shah in the fake case, saying it was linked to the bigger Sohrabuddin Sheikh killing case and did not need to be separate.
Commenting on the contentious issue, retired apex court judge KT Thomas had said that retired Supreme Court and high court judges should take a two-year "quarantine period" from any posts barring that of a judicial inquiry commission.
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.
Sathasivam, 65, who hails from the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, was the 40th chief justice of India, holding office from July 2013 to April 2014.