Why do we need an ' Attorney General of India'?
According to Article 76, the President shall appoint an Attorney General of India who is qualified to be appointed as a Supreme Court Judge.
The Attorney General of India is the government's first legal officer.
The President appoints the Attorney General, and he serves at the pleasure of the President. Despite the fact that the Attorney General of India is not a member of the cabinet (as in England), he has the right to speak in the Houses of Parliament or any committee thereof, but not to vote (Article 88). He is entitled to the privileges of a member of Parliament as a result of his position [Article 105(4)].
The Attorney General has a right of audience in all Indian courts while performing his official duties. He represents both the union and the states in court, but he is also allowed to practise law in private as long as the other party is not the state.
As a result, he does not receive a salary, but rather a retainer set by the President. To allow the new government to appoint a nominee of its choice, the Attorney General resigns from his previous position.
K. K. Venugopal is the 15th and current Attorney General. In 2020, President Ram Nath Kovind reappointed him. On June 30, 2017, he began his service.
Two solicitor generals and four additional solicitor generals assist the attorney general. The Attorney General is compensated with a retainer equal to the salary of a Supreme Court Judge.
It is customary for the attorney general to resign following a change of government and the new government to appoint one of its own choosing. He shall not advise or bring a case against the Government of India in instances where he is consulted by the Government of India. He should also refrain from defending accused persons in criminal prosecutions without the permission of the Indian government. He is prohibited from becoming a director of any company.
The Attorney General serves at the pleasure of the President and is compensated according to the President's discretion. The Attorney General does not serve on the Central Cabinet. A separate legal minister is appointed to the Central Cabinet to oversee legal matters at the federal level.
The Attorney General's Duties And Functions
The AG's responsibilities as the Government of India's Chief Legal Officer include the following:
To advise the Government of India on such legal matters as the President refers to him.
To perform any other legal duties assigned to him by the President.
To carry out the functions vested in him by the Constitution or other applicable law.
The President has charged the AG with the following responsibilities:
To appear in the Supreme Court on behalf of the Government of India in all cases involving the Government of India.
To represent the Government of India in any appeal to the Supreme Court brought by the President pursuant to Article 143 of the Constitution.
To appear in any High Court (as required by the Government of India) in any case involving the Government of India.
Rights And Restrictions
The Attorney General has the right of audience in all courts in India while performing his official duties.
Additionally, he has the right to speak and participate in the proceedings of both Houses of Parliament or their joint sittings, as well as any Parliamentary committee to which he may be appointed, but without the right to vote. He is entitled to all the privileges and immunities accorded to members of Parliament.
Certain restrictions are imposed on the Attorney General (AG) to avoid complications and conflicts of duty.
He should refrain from advising or presenting a case against the Government of India. He should abstain from advising or appearing for the Government of India in cases in which he is called upon to advise or appear for the Government of India.
He should not represent accused persons in criminal prosecutions without the Government of India's permission. He should decline an appointment as a director of any company or corporation without the Government of India's permission.