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Gov't throws bench a bone? P Sathasivam becomes first ex-CJI governor

Sathasivam: Safe choice (photo by Nikhil Kanekal)
Sathasivam: Safe choice (photo by Nikhil Kanekal)

Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam was today sworn in as governor of Kerala, as the first ex-CJI to have been appointed to a state’s governorship, according to reports.

The appointment has been heavily criticised since it was first announced this week, with lawyers, opposition politicians and former judges arguing that it could lead to judges in future trying to please the government to secure prestigious post-retirement appointments.

Sathasivam denied that he went soft on now-BJP president Amit Shah and his bench did not give Shah a clean chit in the Sohrabuddin encounter case, and said that his appointment was completely proper.

Supreme Court advocate Sanjay Hegde argued in a column in The Hindu today that the appointment was setting a troubling precedent, despite high court judges in the past having held gubernatorial positions.

The judiciary and the government have been at loggerheads since the NDA came to power over the role the executive should play in judicial appointments.

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