Do you know who is the highest law officer in India? Many of you might not have imagined the answer as there is very little noise about this law officer. Most of the time, we hear terms like Chief Justice of India, law minister, etc. The highest law officer in the country is the Attorney General of India. Let’s explore more about the appointment, rights, and duties of the Attorney General of India.
Who Is The Current Attorney General Of India?
Kottayan Katankot Venugopal is the current and 15th AG of India. He is an Indian constitutional lawyer and a senior advocate at the Supreme Court of India. He was appointed as the Attorney General of India on 1 July 2017. He is the founder of M K Nambyar SAARCLAW Centre For Advanced Legal Studies at the NALSAR Law University.
He was born on 6 September 1931 in the South Canara district of Madras Presidency of British India (present-day Kerala, India) and grew up in Mangalore. He completed his B.Sc in Physics from the prestigious Madras Christian College, Chennai and law from Raja Lakhamgouda Law College, Belgaum.
Who Appoints The Attorney General of India?
Article 76 of the Constitution of India signifies that AG is the highest law officer in India. The country’s President appoints a person who is eligible for the post of Supreme Court judge. The President also takes the Government’s advice for the appointment of the Attorney General of India. The requirements for the appointment of AGI include
- He/she should be an Indian citizen
- He/she must have completed 5 years as a judge in the High Court of any state or 10 years in the High Court as an advocate.
- He/she should also be an eminent jurist in the eyes of the President.
What Is The Term Of The Attorney General?
The term of AG majorly depends on the discretion of the President. The Indian Constitution doesn’t mention any specific tenure for the Attorney General of India. It also doesn’t signify the grounds for AG’s removal.
- The power to remove the Attorney General of India is also bestowed on the President.
- He/She can tender a resignation to the President.
- Conventionally, when the government is dissolved or replaced.
What Are The Duties Of the Attorney General Of India?
An AGI is the highest law officer of India and is a Union executive member who assists the government in various legal matters. Here are some of the roles of the Attorney General.
- He/she is a legal advisor to the government of India.
- He/she advises the Union government whenever the President refers a matter to him/her.
- The Attorney General represents the Government of India in the Supreme Court and also in High Courts in all the cases where GOI is involved.
- AG represents matters suggested by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Indian Constitution.
What Are The Rights Of An Attorney General Of India?
- The Attorney General has the right of audience in any court in the territory of India.
- He/she can speak or take part in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament and their joint sittings, but does not have a right to vote.
- He/she can speak or take part in the meetings of any committee of the Parliament of which he is named as a member, but again without a right to vote.
- AG enjoys all the privileges and immunities that are available for a Member of Parliament.
- Also, AG is not a government servant and is not debarred from private legal practice. He/she is not paid a fixed salary and his/her remuneration is decided by the President.
What Are The Restrictions On the Attorney General Of India?
- The Attorney General should not recommend or hold a brief against the GOI.
- He/she should not recommend or hold a brief in cases where he/she is requested to advise or represent GOI.
- AG should not safeguard an accused in criminal proceedings without approval from GOI.
- He/she should not accept a position of a director in any company or corporation without approval from the government of India.