As NDA prepares to appoint former CJI P Sathasivam as the next Kerala governor, CM Ommen Chandy claims he has not been consulted
New Delhi : After it came to light that the central government is considering former chief justice of India – P Sathasivam as the next Kerala governor have triggered a debate about the suitability of such a move.
The Congress party has pointed out that it is the chief justice of India who administers the oath of office and secrecy to the president so for a former CJI to take-up an office under the president (as the governor holds office with the pleasure of the president and sends a weekly report about the state of affairs) is not appropriate. “We have no knowledge that a formal appointment has been made. But this is a situation that does credit, neither to giver nor the taker,” said spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
Meanwhile, the sources said that Sathasivam’s name has been sent by the Home Ministry to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to succeed Sheila Dikshit who quit a few days ago.
There have been instances where former judges have entered political contests like elections, but so far an ex-CJI has not been named as a governor. Likewise in the past former Comptroller and Auditor General T N Chaturvedi (Bofors fame) has been a Rajya Sabha member and a governor, and a former CEC M S Gill is also a member of the Rajya Sabha.
The other aspect is that the Modi government considers the governor’s post as a political appointment, so the questions arises as to whether a former CJI should go for a political assignment. What does it mean in the context of the government’s context towards judicial independence?
Meanwhile, Kerala CM Ommen Chandy asserted that he has not been consulted by the NDA. Usually, the chief minister is sounded out before making the announcement public, but then the concurrence is not required.