Who is Attorney General of India?
The post of the Attorney General of India has been described under Article 76 of the Indian Constitution. He/She is the primary legal representative of the Union Government. He/She is responsible for representing the Government in the Supreme Court of India. The appointment of the Attorney General of India is not supposed to be influenced by politics.
Present Attorney General of India
First Attorney General of India
Who Appoints AG?
President of India
Not Fixed, Holds office during the pleasure of the President
Attorney General of India Article
The salary of the Attorney General of India is equivalent to the SC Judge. It is taken out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
Attorney General of India: Article 76 of Indian Constitution
According to Article 76 of the Indian Constitution, the President appoints an Attorney General for India who is competent to be appointed as a Supreme Court Judge.
- It shall be the Attorney General's duty to advise the Government of India on such legal issues and to perform such other legal responsibilities as may be referred or assigned to them by the President from time to time, as well as to discharge the functions conferred on them by or under this Constitution or any other law in force at the time.
- He/She shall have the right of an audience in all courts in India while performing their duties.
- He/She serves at the convenience of the President and receives whatever salary the President determines.
List of Attorney General of India
India has had 16 Attorney Generals to date. R. Venkataramani is the 16th AG, serving the office since 2022. Below is the Attorney General of India List, along with their tenure.
Attorney General of India
28 January 1950 – 1 March 1963
2 March 1963 – 30 October 1968
1 November 1968 – 31 March 1977
1 April 1977 – 8 August 1979
9 August 1979 – 8 August 1983
9 August 1983 – 8 December 1989
9 December 1989 – 2 December 1990
3 December 1990 – 23 November 1992
Milon K. Banerji
21 November 1992 – 8 July 1996
9 July 1996 – 6 April 1998
7 April 1998 – 4 June 2004
Milon K. Banerjee
5 June 2004 – 7 June 2009
Goolam Essaji Vahanvati
8 June 2009 – 11 June 2014
12 June 2014 – 30 June 2017
30 June 2017- 01 October 2022
01 October 2022 - till date
Appointment of Attorney General of India
The Attorney General of India is appointed through nomination by the President of India. The President can appoint only a person who qualifies as a Supreme Court judge. Along with this, a few other pointers are required to qualify for the post.
- The candidate should be a citizen of India.
- The candidate should have 5 years of experience as a judge in the High Court of any state.
- The candidate should have 10 years of experience as an advocate in the High Court of any state.
- The candidate can also be a famous jurist.
Tenure of Attorney General of India
The tenure of Attorney General of India has not been defined by the Indian Constitution. There is no specific or fixed term. Similarly, the constitution does not specify the process to be followed for the removal.
- The President of India can only remove the AG at any given time, as there is no minimum tenure.
- The President appoints the Attorney General after consulting the Council of Ministers. The Convention would also dictate that the removal would be discussed with the Council.
- The AG can resign from the post after submitting their resignation to the President.
Powers and Functions of Attorney General of India
The Attorney General of India is the country's chief law officer. The AG has a lot of duties and responsibilities to perform, like;
- Legal matters are referred to him/her by the President, to which he/she provides counsel to the Union government.
- The President refers to the Attorney General of India for counsel on legal matters that interest him/her.
- There are three duties that are assigned to the AG by the President. They are;
- For any legal proceeding that concerns the GoI, the AG is to represent them in the Supreme Court.
- Article 143 of the Indian Constitution requires the AG to represent the Union in any proceeding referred to by the President.
- In all cases related to the GoI, the AG shall appear for the court proceedings.
Limitations of the Attorney General of India
To avoid conflict of duty, there are a few limitations that are posted on the Attorney General which he should keep in mind while performing his duties:
- He should not advise or hold a brief against GoI.
- He should not advise or hold a brief in cases in which he is called upon to advise or appear for the Government of India.
- He should not defend accused persons in criminal prosecutions without the permission of the Government of India.
- He should not accept an appointment as a director in any company or corporation without the permission of the Government of India.
Attorney General of India UPSC
Attorney General of India UPSC is an important topic under the subject of Indian Polity and constitution for the UPSC Prelims and Mains examinations. Candidates can refer to appropriate Polity books for UPSC preparation to brush up on their basics about this topic. They can also read relevant information by downloading the Attorney General of India UPSC Notes PDF given in this article.
Attorney General of India UPSC Questions
The Attorney General of India is a topic of substance in the IAS exam preparation. Candidates must practice it well and commit the basics to their memory. Check these sample questions below for your retention:
Question - Who is a non-member given the power to participate in the Lok Sabha debates?
- Vice President
- Attorney General of India
- Chief Justice of India
- None of the above
Answer - B. Attorney General of India
Question - Who among the following holds the office for tenure as per the pleasure of the President?
- Comptroller Auditor General of India
- Election Commissioner
- Attorney General of India
- Lok Sabha Speaker
Answer - C. Attorney General of India