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Indian Polity

Attorney General of India

  • 01 Jul 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

The central government has extended the term of K.K. Venugopal as Attorney General (AG) for one year.

  • Venugopal was appointed the 15th AG of India in 2017. He succeeded Mukul Rohatgi who was AG from 2014-2017.

Key Points

  • The Attorney General (AG) of India is a part of the Union Executive. AG is the highest law officer in the country.
  • Article 76 of the Constitution provides for the office of AG of India.
  • Appointment and Eligibility:
    • AG is appointed by the President on the advice of the government.
    • S/he must be a person who is qualified to be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court, i.e. s/he must be a citizen of India and must have been a judge of some high court for five years or an advocate of some high court for ten years or an eminent jurist, in the opinion of the President.
  • Term of the Office: Not fixed by the Constitution.
  • Removal: Procedures and grounds for the removal of AG are not stated in the Constitution. S/he holds office during the pleasure of the President (may be removed by the President at any time).
  • Duties and Functions:
    • To give advice to the Government of India (GoI) upon such legal matters, which are referred to her/him by the President.
    • To perform such other duties of a legal character that are assigned to her/him by the President.
      • To appear on behalf of the GoI in all cases in the Supreme Court or in any case in any High Court in which the GoI is concerned.
      • To represent the GoI in any reference made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 (Power of the President to consult the Supreme Court) of the Constitution.
    • To discharge the functions conferred on her/him by the Constitution or any other law.
  • Rights and Limitations:
    • S/he has the right to speak and to take part in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament or their joint sitting and any committee of the Parliament of which s/he may be named a member, but without a right to vote.
    • S/he enjoys all the privileges and immunities that are available to a member of Parliament.
    • S/he does not fall in the category of government servants. S/he is not debarred from private legal practice.
    • However, s/he should not advise or hold a brief against the GoI.
  • Solicitor General of India and Additional Solicitor General of India assist the AG in fulfillment of the official responsibilities.
  • Corresponding Office in the States: Advocate General (Article 165).

Source: TH

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