Attorney General of India

“1st law officer of GOI & its chief legal advisory & primary lawyer in SC”

  • Appointed by President
  • Must be qualified to be appointed as a judge of SC
  • Holds office during the pleasure of the President & can be removed by him anytime. Conventionally he resigns when COMs resign or is replaced as he is appointed on their advice
  • Not a member of cabinet, Does not have any executive authority & is not a political appointee


Points to Ponder

  • Can not defend an accused in criminal proceedings or accept directorship of any company without the permission of the government
  • Assisted by 2 solicitor generals (appointed for 3 yrs) & 4 additional solicitor generals (appointed for 3 yrs), eligible for re-appointment, for a further term not exceeding three years.
  • To be consulted only in legal matters , only after ministry of law has been consulted

Duties of Attorney General

  • To give advice to GOI on legal matters
  • To perform other legal duties assigned to him by the president
  • To discharge function assigned to him by constitution or other legal laws
  • Enjoys the right of audience in all the courts of India
  • Entitled to take part in proceedings of the parliament & can be a member of parliamentary committees but does not have a right to vote in parliament
  • Allowed to take up private practice, provided other party is not the state. Because of this he is not paid salary but a retainer (to be determined by the President) Equivalent to salary of a Judge of SC


Difference between Attorney General & Solicitor General:

  • Solicitor General is subordinate to the Attorney General of India and works under him.
  • The Solicitor General for India is the second law officer of the country, assists the Attorney General
  • Unlike the post of Attorney General of India, which is a Constitutional post under Article 76 of the Constitution of India, the posts of the Solicitor General and the Additional Solicitors General are merely statutory.
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