Millennium Post

Wrong precedent

The impasse over Kerala’s new governor has finally come to an end. But the appointment of Palanisamy Sathasivam as the 23rd governor of Kerala has rightly been marred by a string of raised voices which have said that a wrong precedent has been sent.

If we start analysing the developments leading to this gubernatorial position, it becomes hard to not have sweeping glances at the fact that Mr Sathasivam has become the first Chief Justice of India to assume an office which is lower in warrant of precedence to the office he previously held. Essentially, that means that the new government, which went against the petitions filed by the Bar Association of Supreme Court and Kerala to the President against this appointment, has no regard to maintain the hierarchy of public offices as ordained by the Indian Constitution.

It also means that judiciary, which is considered to be independent, has now befallen the fate it never thought it could; that of falling at the mercy of the executive and the legislature. When Mukul Rohatgi was appointed as the Attorney General of India, there was criticism that the significance of the office of AGI had been lowered, especially after the executive rallied so hard in elevating the then senior SC lawyer to the coveted position. It is another matter if he successfully defended Amit Shah in the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case.

Sathasivam’s appointment is no different or else he would not have had to communicate to a media outlet that Shah was not given a clean chit in the case. Incidentally, he was the one who heard the arguments as the CJI then. If the new government did a favour to the country by removing scam-tainted governors appointed by UPA, it has certainly let itself down in the present scheme of things.   
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