Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 5 (PTI): Former Chief Justice of India Palanisamy Sathasivam, 65, on Friday assumed office as the 23rd Governor of Kerala, succeeding Sheila Dikshit.
Justice Sathasivam, whose appointment triggered debate in legal and political circles on the propriety of giving gubernatorial assignment to a former chief justic, was administered the oath of office by Acting Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, Justice Ashok Bhushan, at a simple function held at the Raj Bhavan here.
Saraswathy Sathasivam, wife of the Governor, was also present.
Sathasivam is the first retired CJI to become a Governor of a state.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, his cabinet colleagues, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha P.J. Kurien and state Assembly Speaker G. Karthikeyan were present. However, Opposition leader V.S. Achuthanandan and other LDF leaders were not seen.
When contacted, sources at the office of Opposition leader said he did not attend the function as there was no intimation about it. However, the government said the charge that the Opposition leader was not invited for the function was factually incorrect.
An official release said Achuthanandan was officially invited for the function and a seat had been reserved for him in the front row at Raj Bhavan.
After Sathasivam's appointment as Governor, state home minister Ramesh Chennithala had said there was no place for differences and controversies once he was made the governor, and welcomed his appointment.
Justice Sathasivam, born on April 27, 1949, became CJI in July 2013, and retired from the position in April this year.
He had earlier served as a Judge of Madras High Court and the Punjab & Haryana High Court.
He is the first non-political person appointed for a gubernatorial post by the new NDA government.