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Attorney General

Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Attorney General:


Context:

Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal has given his consent to a law student to initiate contempt of court proceedings against artist Rachita Taneja for her tweets and cartoons.

  • Venugopal said the tweets and the cartoons that accompanied them were intended “to denigrate the Supreme Court and lower its authority in the eyes of the public”.

What is the case for prior approval in Contempt Cases?

The prior consent in writing of the Attorney General is required for the Supreme Court to initiate criminal contempt action in a case a/c to the Contempt of Court Act, 1971.

  • AGI consent is a form of check on the much-debated suo-motu power of criminal contempt.

Attorney General- Facts:

The Attorney General for India is the central government’s chief legal advisor, and its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India.

He is a part of the Union Executive.

Appointment and eligibility:

He is appointed by the President of India under Article 76(1) of the Constitution and holds office during the pleasure of the President.

  • He must be a person qualified to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • He should be an Indian Citizen.
  • He must have either completed 5 years in High Court of any Indian state as a judge or 10 years in High Court as an advocate.
  • He may be an eminent jurist too, in the eye of the President.

Powers and Functions:

  1. The Attorney General is necessary for giving advice to the Government of India in legal matters referred to him. He also performs other legal duties assigned to him by the President.
  2. The Attorney General has the right of audience in all Courts in India as well as the right to participate in the proceedings of the Parliament, though not to vote.
  3. The Attorney General appears on behalf of Government of India in all cases (including suits, appeals and other proceedings) in the Supreme Court in which Government of India is concerned.
  4. He also represents the Government of India in any reference made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution.
  5. The Attorney General can accept briefs but cannot appear against the Government.
  6. He cannot defend an accused in the criminal proceedings and accept the directorship of a company without the permission of the Government.
  7. The Attorney General is assisted by two Solicitor General and four Additional Solicitor Generals.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Article 143 of the Constitution.
  2. Who appoints AG and SGs?
  3. The right of AG to participate in the proceedings of the Parliament?
  4. Who can be appointed as AG?
  5. Article 76(1) of the Constitution.
  6. The Union Executive consists of?

Mains Link:

Discuss the roles and functions of AG.

Sources: the Hindu.