Attorney-General Of India (Article-76)

In this article, you can read about the Article 76 of Indian Constitution. It deals with the office of the Attorney General of India and is an important topic for the UPSC polity and governance syllabus.

The Attorney General for India is the GOI’s chief legal advisor and its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. He is appointed by the country’s President as per Article 76 (1) of the Indian Constitution. He holds office during the pleasure of the President. He must be a person qualified to be appointed as a Supreme Court Judge. The Attorney General, like an Advocate General of a State is not supposed to be a political appointee, in spirit, but this is not the case in practice. Every time a party comes to power in the general elections, all the law officers resign and law officers loyal to the new party are appointed. The current Attorney General is K. K. Venugopal, who was appointed on 30th June 2017 by the then President Pranab Mukherjee.

Powers, Functions and Responsibilities of AG

The Attorney General advises the GOI in legal matters referred to him. He also performs other legal duties assigned to him by the President. He has the right of audience in all the Courts in India and can also participate in the proceedings of the Parliament, though does not have the right to vote in the Parliament. The Attorney General appears on behalf of the Indian central Government in all cases (including appeals, suits and other proceedings) in the SC in which the GOI is concerned. He also represents the Government of India in any reference made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution. Unlike the Attorney General of the United States, the Attorney General of India does not have any executive authority, and is not a political appointee, those functions are performed by the Law Minister of India. The Attorney General can accept briefs but he cannot appear against the Government. He cannot defend an accused in criminal proceedings and cannot accept a company’s directorship without the permission of the Government.

The Attorney General is assisted by a Solicitor General and four Additional Solicitors General. The Attorney General can be consulted only in legal matters of real importance and that too, only after the Ministry of Law has been consulted. All references to the Attorney General are made by the Ministry of Law. Apart from above mentioned Constitutional bodies, there are also other small Constitutional Bodies in India are formed by the Constitution which helps the Government to run properly. Each of these permanent or semi-permanent organizations is responsible for the administration of specific functions. Some additional bodies help them by providing advisory functions. After the release of India from the clutches of British, introduction of these independent bodies in government helped to develop India into a Social, Secular and Democratic Republic. Either the president or the Prime Minister of India appoints the chief of these bodies. Constitutional bodies are framed by the Constitution of a nation and can’t be abolished without consent of the states.

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