Former Supreme Court judge Justice S Abdul Nazeer was on Sunday appointed as the governor of Andhra Pradesh, reported PTI.

Nazeer, who retired from the Supreme Court on January 4, was part of the Constitution bench that passed the verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case, allowing the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site of Babri Masjid. The former judge was part of the Supreme Court bench that upheld the Centre’s 2016 demonetisation exercise in a judgement passed on January 2.

He was also part of the triple talaq judgement in 2017 that found the practice unconstitutional but he had dissented to hold it valid.

This is the first time in nine years that a Supreme Court judge has been appointed as governor. The last instance of such an appointment was in 2014 when former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam was made the governor of Kerala. Justice Fatima Beevi was appointed the governor of Tamil Nadu in 1997 after her retirement as a Supreme Court judge in 1992.

Other judges too have held government posts. In 2020, former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi was nominated as the member of the Rajya Sabha. Days before his retirement in 2019, the former chief justice had presided over proceedings in the Ayodhya land dispute case.

Nazeer practised in the Karnataka High Court as an advocate where he was appointed as an additional judge in 2003 and as a permanent judge in 2004. He was elevated to the Supreme Court in 2017.

Besides Nazeer, Radha Krishnan Mathur has been replaced with Brigadier (Retired) BD Mishra as the lieutenant governor of Ladakh. The decision came amid protests in the Union Territory with agitators demanding the inclusion of Ladakh in the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. The schedule grants a measure of autonomy to tribal-majority regions in the country.

Four Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have also been appointed as governors. Ramesh Bais was appointed as the new governor of Maharashtra after Bhagat Singh Koshyari resigned from his post.