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ATTORNEY GENERAL OF INDIA
The Constitution (Article 76) has provided for the office of the Attorney General for India 1. He is the highest law officer in the country.
APPOINTMENT AND TERM
The Attorney General (AG) is appointed by the president. He must be a person who is qualified to be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court. In other words, he must be a citizen of India and he 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.
The term of office of the AG is not fixed by the Constitution. Further, the Constitution does not contain the procedure and grounds for his removal. He holds office during the pleasure of the president. This means that he may be removed by the president at any time. He may also quit his office by submitting his resignation to the president. Conventionally, he resigns when the government (council of ministers) resigns or is replaced, as he is appointed on its advice.
The remuneration of the AG is not fixed by the Constitution. He receives such remuneration as the president may determine.
DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS
As the chieflaw officer of the Government of India, the duties of the AG include the following:
The president has assigned the following duties to the AG:
RIGHTS AND LIMITATIONS
In the performance of his official duties, the Attorney General has the right of audience in all courts in the terri tory of India. Further, he has the right to speak and to take part in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament or their joint sitting and any committee of the Parliament of which he may be named a member, but without a right to vote. He enjoys all the privileges and immunities that are available to a member of Parliament.
Following limitations are placed on the Attorney General in order to avoid any complication and conflict of duty:
However, the Attorney General is not a full-time counsel for the Government. He does not fall in the category of government servants. Further, he is not debarred from private legal practice.
SOLICITOR GENERAL OF INDIA
In addition to the AG, there are other law officers of the Government of India. They are the solicitor general of India and additional solicitor general of India. They assist the AG in the fulfilment of his official responsibilities. It should be noted here that only the office of the AG is created by the Constitution. In other words, Article 76 does not mention about the solicitor general and additional solicitor genera1.
The AG is not a member of the Central cabinet. There is a separate law minister in the Central cabinet to look after legal matters at the government level '.
Table 46.1 Articles Related to Attorney-General of India at a Glance
|76.||Attorney-General of India|
|88.||Rights of Attorney-General as respects the Houses of Parliament and its Committee|
|105.||Powers, privileges and immunities of Attorney-General|
|Notices and References