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Ex-CJI Defends Appointment as Kerala Guv Amidst Controversy

Former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam said that he doesn't see any problem in accepting the governorship of Kerala and serving the country from a constitutional post after the Centre's reported move to appoint him Kerala Governor sparked a debate in political and legal circles on the propriety of giving gubernatorial assignment to a person who retired from the highest judicial office in the country.

While Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the Centre had so far not sought his views on the proposal, KPCC president V M Sudheeran said the issue involved questions of "propriety" but it was for legal and constitutional experts to give answers to them.

"It has been a convention to consult the Chief Minister concerned before appointing the Governor..This practice has been followed during the appointment of previous governors during my tenure as chief minister. (In this case) So far, I have not been consulted. I expect that convention would be followed this time as well," Chandy told reporters in Kozhikode.

Sudheeran said though there had been instances of retired judges being made Governors, the appointment of a former CJI could raise questions of propriety.

He, however, added it was for constitutional experts to give an answer to this question, but there was nothing wrong in debating the issue.

Meanwhile, a section of Kerala High Court Advocates Association members today pressed for passing a resolution by the body requesting the President to turn down the recommendation of central government to appoint Justice Sathasivam as the state Governor.

Former president of the association Babu Paul and 121 other members in a signed memorandum also wanted the association to request Justice Sathasivam to turn down his nomination to maintain the independence and integrity of judiciary and uphold the majesty of judicial system.

The resolution would be considered by the association tomorrow at an extra ordinary general body meeting, association sources said.

In July, 2014, when talks were on to appoint Sathasivam as the governor of Karnataka, All India Bar Association had made it clear that the appointment of former Supreme Court Chief Justice P Sathasivam as Governor of Karnataka would be a "deviation" from the Constitutional principles.

PLACES: Kerala
SECTION: National
OUTLOOK 01 September, 2014
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