The Attorney General Of India


About The Department

  • The following items have been assigned to the Department in accordance with the Government of India’s 1961 “Allocation of Business” Rules:
  1. Advice to Ministries on legal problems, including interpretation of the Constitution and the laws, conveyancing, and employment of counsel to represent the Union of India in the High Courts and lower courts where the Union of India is a party.

  2. Attorney General of India, Solicitor General of India, and other Central Government law officers of the States whose services are shared by Government of India Ministries.

  3. Case management before the Supreme Court and High Courts on behalf of the Central Government and the Governments of States participating in the Central Agency Scheme.

  4. Reciprocal arrangements with foreign nations for the serving of summonses in civil cases, the execution of decisions of Civil Courts, the enforcement of maintenance orders, and the administration of the estates of foreigners who die intestate in India.

  5. Authorization of officials to execute contracts and property assurances on behalf of the President in accordance with Article 299(1) of the Constitution, as well as authorization of officers to sign and check pleadings or written declarations in cases brought by or against the Central Government.

  6. Legal Assistance for Indians.

  7. Civil law treaties and international agreements with foreign nations.

  8. Commission on Law.

  9. Legal Profession, which includes the Advocates Act of 1961 (25 of 1961) and those authorized to practice before High Courts.

  10. Expansion of the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction and conferral of additional powers; people qualified to practice before the Supreme Court; references to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Indian Constitution.

  11. The administration of the 1952 Notaries Act (53 of 1952).

  12. Income-tax Appellate Tribunal.

  • The Department is also responsible for administering the following statutes:
  1. The Advocates Act of 1961
  2. 1952’s Notaries Act
  3. The 2001 Advocates’ Welfare Fund Act
  • The Department administers the Commercial Courts Act of 2015 and the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Act of 2019. In addition, the Department administers the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and the Law Commission of India. The Department is also administratively responsible for all Indian Legal Service-related problems. It also pertains to the appointment of the Attorney General of India, Solicitor General of India, and Additional Solicitor Generals of India. This Department awards grant-in-aid to specific law-related organizations, such as the Indian Law Institute, in an effort to encourage legal education and research and to develop the legal profession.

Who Is The Attorney General Of India?

  • According to Article 76 of the Indian Constitution, he or she is the highest legal authority in India. As the government of India’s principal legal advisor, he advises the union government on all legal matters.

  • He is also the principal attorney defending the Union Government at India’s Supreme Court. In theory, the Attorney General, like the State’s Attorney General, should not be a political appointee, although this is not the case in practice.

  • According to Article 76, the Attorney General may be anyone qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, which essentially means they must be an Indian citizen who has served as a judge in a High Court of any Indian state for at least five years, or as an advocate for at least ten years or be an eminent jurist in the President’s estimation. These are the qualifications necessary to become a Supreme Court judge, and they also apply to the position of attorney general.

Who Appoints Attorney General Of India?

  • The President of India appoints a qualified individual to the position of Supreme Court Judge. The President appoints the Attorney General based on the advice of the administration.

The following requirements must be met:

  1. He must possess Indian citizenship.
  2. He must have served either five years as a judge in the High Court of any Indian state or ten years as an attorney in the High Court.
  3. He may also be an excellent judge in the President’s estimation.
  4. S/he must be a citizen of India and must have served as a judge of some high court for five years, an advocate of some high court for ten years, or an outstanding jurist, in the President’s judgment, in order to be appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court.

List Of All The Attorney General Of India

Attorney General Tenure Prime Minister
M. C. Setalvad 28 January 1950 – 1 March 1963 Jawaharlal Nehru
C. K. Daphtary 2 March 1963 – 30 October 1968 Jawaharlal Nehru; Lal Bahadur Shastri
Niren De 1 November 1968 – 31 March 1977 Indira Gandhi
S. V. Gupte 1 April 1977 – 8 August 1979 Morarji Desai
L. N. Sinha 9 August 1979 – 8 August 1983 Charan Singh; Indira Gandhi
K. Parasaran 9 August 1983 – 8 December 1989 Indira Gandhi; Rajiv Gandhi
Soli Sorabjee 9 December 1989 – 2 December 1990 V. P. Singh; Chandra Shekhar
G. Ramaswamy 3 December 1990 – 23 November 1992 Chandra Shekhar; P. V. Narasimha Rao
Milon K. Banerji 21 November 1992 – 8 July 1996 P. V. Narasimha Rao
Ashok Desai 9 July 1996 – 6 April 1998 H. D. Devegowda; Inder Kumar Gujral
Soli Sorabjee 7 April 1998 – 4 June 2004 Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Milon K. Banerji 5 June 2004 – 7 June 2009 Manmohan Singh
Goolam Essaji Vahanvati 8 June 2009 – 11 June 2014 Manmohan Singh
Mukul Rohatgi 19 June 2014 – 18 June 2017 Narendra Modi
K. K. Venugopal 1 July 2017 – (incumbent) Narendra Modi

Power And Functions Of The Attorney General

  • Advising the Government of India on legal concerns is the responsibility of the attorney general. In addition, they carry out whatever additional responsibilities the President has given them. As a member of Parliament, the attorney general has the right to appear in court and participate in debates, but not to vote. The attorney general represents the Government of India in all disputes before the Supreme Court, including litigation, appeals, and other processes. Under the Constitution, they also represent the government of India in any Supreme Court appeals filed by the President.

  • The Attorney General of India does not have executive authority, in contrast to the Attorney General of the United States. The Law Minister of India performs these duties. Aside from that, the AG isn’t a government employee and isn’t prohibited from working as a private attorney.

  • However, he or she may receive briefs, he or she cannot represent the state in legal proceedings. They are unable to represent a defendant in a criminal case or serve as a director of a firm without the government’s consent.

  • With the help of the attorney general’s Solicitor General and additional solicitors general, the attorney general is supported.

  • Consult the attorney general only when necessary and only after consulting with the Ministry of Law. Only the Law Ministry refers to the attorney general.

What Is The Role Of Attorney General Of India?

  • As the country’s chief legal officer, the Attorney General of India is responsible for the following responsibilities:
  1. On all legal matters referred to him by the President, he provides counsel to the Union government.
  2. President continues to refer him to legal matters that pique his interest, and Attorney General must also advise him on them.
  3. In addition to the duties to which the President refers, he also carries out those outlined in the Constitution.
  • The President has assigned Attorney General three responsibilities:
  1. In any legal case which the government of India is related to, the Attorney General has to appear in the Supreme Court on its behalf
  2. He has to represent the Union Government in any reference made by the president to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution
  3. He also appears in the High Court if any case is related to the Government of India

Rights And Limitation Of The Attorney General

  • Without the right to vote, s/he may speak and participate in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament or their joint sitting, as well as any committee of the Parliament to which s/he may be appointed. He or she possesses all of the rights and immunities of a member of Parliament. He or she does not belong to the group of government employees. He or she is not disqualified from practicing law privately.

  • However, he or she should not advise or represent the Indian General. The Solicitor General of India and Additional Solicitor General of India assist the Attorney General in carrying out his official duties. Advocate General Corresponding Office in the United States (Article 165).

  • The attorney general has the right to appear before any court in the nation in relation to his duties. In addition, he gets all the immunities and special privileges of an MP. He may be identified as a member and may participate in the proceedings of both chambers without the power to vote.

Guidance, Philosopher Of The Court

  • According to a decision made by the Supreme Court in the case “P.N. Duda against V. P. Shiv Shankar & Others on 15 April 1988,” an Attorney General serves as a “friend, philosopher, and guide of the court.”

  • On May 7, 2010, however, the Supreme Court of India ruled in the case of B.P. Singhal vs. Union of India and Anr that there is clearly some form of lawyer-client connection between the Attorney General and the Union Government.

  • Because of this, the Office of the Attorney General is excluded from the requirements of the Right to Information Act. What this really means and what it boils down to is the fact that, for instance, if there is any communication or legal advice between the Attorney General and the Government on any legal matter, then such information cannot be required to be disclosed in accordance with RTI. This is what this really implies and what it boils down to.

Top 13 Facts About The Attorney General Of India

  1. The Indian Attorney General (AG) is a member of the Union Executive.

  2. He is the nation’s chief law enforcement official. He is eligible to serve on any court inside the Indian Territory.

  3. He was permitted to speak and participate in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament (Read about the difference between the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha here) or their joint sitting, as well as any committee of the Parliament to which he may be appointed a member.

  4. He has no right to vote when participating in Indian Parliament sessions.

  5. Similarly, to a Member of Parliament, likewise has all rights and immunities.

  6. He is not regarded as a government employee.

  7. He can also practice law privately since he is not prohibited from doing so.

  8. The Attorney General may speak and participate in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament or their joint sitting, as well as any committee of the Parliament to which he or she may be appointed as a member, but without the power to vote.

  9. The Indian Attorney General (AG) is a member of the Union Executive. The Attorney General is the top law authority in the country.

  10. Soli Sorabjee worked as the Attorney General was the shortest period of time. However, he was appointed for the post twice.

  11. The current and 15th Attorney General is K. K. Venugopal. He was reappointed by President Ram Nath Kovind in 2020.

  12. the attorney general for India is additionally given a sumptuary payment of Rs. 4,000 per month, except during the term of his leave.

  13. A government-appointed attorney general, who represents the government’s interests in court, cannot be considered impartial. Even if he or she is a constitutional authority, his or her views can be scrutinized by the general public. A number of the Attorney General’s opinions appear to be overtly political in nature.

Anushree Singh

Anushree Singh