ATTORNEY GENERAL OF INDIA
What is in News: The central government has extended the term of K.K. Venugopal as Attorney General (AG) for one more year.
- This is the second time the Centre has extended his tenure.
- Venugopal was appointed the 15th AG of India in 2017.
- He succeeded Mukul Rohatgi who was AG from 2014-2017.
- AG is the highest law officer in the country is a part of the Union Executive.
- 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 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:
- Right to speak and to take part in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament or committee of the Parliament (without a right to vote)
- Enjoys all the privileges and immunities that are available to a MP
- Does not fall in the category of government servants and is not debarred from private legal practice. However 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).