The Attorney General for India is the Indian government’s chief legal advisor, and is its principal barrister in the Supreme Court of India.
They are appointed by the President of India on the advice of the Union Cabinet under Article 76(1) of the Constitution and hold office during the pleasure of the President. They must be a person qualified to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court.
Hence, they 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.
Appointer : President of India on advise on the Union Cabinet.
Term Legth : Upto the pleasure of the President.
Constituting Instrument : Article 76 of Constitution.
Formation : 28 January,1950.
First Holder : M.C. Setalvad.
List of Attorney Generals of India 2021
|1||M.C. Setalvad – First attorney general of India||28 January 1950 – 1 March 1963|
|2||C.K. Daftari||2 March 1963 – 30 October 1968|
|3||Niren De||1 November 1968 – 31 March 1977|
|4||S.V. Gupte||1 April 1977 – 8 August 1979|
|5||L.N. Sinha||9 August 1979 – 8 August 1983|
|6||K. Parasaran||9 August 1983 – 8 December 1989|
|7||Soli Sorabjee||9 December 1989 – 2 December 1990|
|8||J. Ramaswamy||3 December 1990 – 23 November 1992|
|9||Milon K. Banerji||21 November 1992 – 8 July 1996|
|10||Ashok Desai||9 July 1996 – 6 April 1998|
|11||Soli Sorabjee||7 April 1998 – 4 June 2004|
|12||Milon K. Banerjee||5 June 2004 – 7 June 2009|
|13||Goolam Essaji Vahanvati||8 June 2009 – 11 June 2014|
|14||Mukul Rohatgi||12 June 2014 – 30 June 2017|
|15||K.K. Venugopal||30 June 2017 – Till date|
Role of Attorney General of India
- For all the legal matters that are referred to Attorney General by the President, Attorney General advises the Union government upon the same.
- President of India keeps on referring the Attorney General to legal matters that suits his/her interest and Attorney General must advise on those too.
- It is the duty of the Attorney General to give advice to the Government of India upon legal matters and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may, from time to time be referred or assigned to him by the President.
- Apart from what President refers to, Attorney General also performs the duties that are mentioned in the Constitution.
The 3 Duties of Attorney General assigned by the President are :
- In any legal case where the government is related to, the Attorney General must appear in the Supreme Court on its behalf.
- Attorney General of India has to represent the Union Government in any reference made by the president to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution.
- Attorney General of India must also appear in the High Court if any case is related to the Government of India.
Limitations of the Attorney General of India
- Attorney General of India should not advise or hold a brief against the Government of India.
- Attorney General of India should not advise or hold a brief in cases in which he is called upon to advise or appear for the Government of India.
- Attorney General of India should not defend accused persons in criminal prosecutions without permission from the Government of India.
- Attorney General of India should not accept appointment as a director in any company or corporation without permission from the Government of India.
Rights of Attorney General of India
- Attorney General of India has the right of audience in all courts in the territory of India.
- Attorney General of India has the right to take part in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament and their joint sittings, but doesn’t have the right to vote.
- Attorney General of India has the right to speak or to take part in the meeting of any committee of the Parliament of which he is named as a member.
- Attorney General of India enjoys all the privileges and immunities that are available to a member of parliament.