ERODE: Retired Chief Justice of India Justice P Sathasivam is set to take charge as Governor of Kerala in the existing vacancy following the recent resignation of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit from the post.
“I am now in my native village of Kadappanallur near Bhavani, looking after my farm. Now I have got another opportunity to serve the people in a better way,” Justice Sathasivam told Express on Saturday night when asked about the gubernatorial assignment given to him.
“The Prime Minister himself approved my name on Friday. I am expecting the President’s assent,” he said. Asked whether he was happy with his new assignment, the former jurist recalled that when he retired as Chief Justice of India on April 26, he was categorical about not working as a legal advisor for corporate firms, tribunals, arbitration courts, etc, as these were not becoming of the stature of a retired Chief Justice.
Conventionally, a retired Chief Justice of India is expected only to assume a constitutional post. He had earlier said that he would accept the Lokpal Chairman’s post if the five-member selection committee nominates him unanimously.
It was learnt that Justice Sathasivam was open to taking up assignments such as the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission. But a vacancy for this post would arise only next year.
As the Governor’s office is a constitutional one, he was satisfied at being given the gubernatorial assignment, he said. His long experience in the judiciary would help him work well in that capacity and serve people as per the provisions of the Constitution.
Asked about the Centre’s decision to abolish the collegium system to select judges of the high courts and the Supreme Court, he said it was not good to comment about such things now as he had already opposed the idea. The Constitutional amendment and a bill on the formation of a new committee to select judges has been passed in Parliament. Its legal validity, could be discussed only later, he said.
On his advice to the young lawyers, Justice Sathasivam said they should help people to get justice fast as justice delayed is justice denied. He had already stressed the need for young lawyers to read about amendments made to existing laws and new legislations. They should also read judgments of the Supreme Court. The Law Commission can bring out booklets on important judgments relating to Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code and given to them, he added.
On judicial activism, he said people have great faith in the judiciary. But it has its limitations. The judiciary can intervene only in issues which were permissible under the Constitution, he said.