Attorney General of India: Appointment, Roles, List and Limitations

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

The Attorney General of India serves as the Government of India’s chief legal advisor and counsel in court. Under Article 76 (1) of the Constitution, they are appointed by the President of India at the request of the Union Cabinet and serve at the President’s pleasure. To be appointed as a Supreme Court Justice, they must be qualified. As a result, in the President’s decision, they must have been a high court judge for five years, a high court advocate for ten years, or a distinguished jurist.

AGI is a key part of Indian politics, and at least three to four questions about it will appear in the SSC Exams. We have covered every aspect of India’s Attorney General.

Attorney General of India

The Attorney General of India is the highest legal authority in India, according to Article 76 of the Indian Constitution. He will be the Government of India’s (GOI) chief legal advisor, advising the Central Government on all legal matters in the same role as a State Government’s Advocate General. He will also be the Supreme Court of India’s chief advocate, representing the Central Government/Union Government. The table below outlines some major points affecting India’s Attorney General:




Attorney General of India

At Present AGI

R. Venkataramani

1st AGI

Motilal C Setalvad

Appointed by

President of India on the advice of the Union Government


AGI is the chief legal advisor to the Government of India and acts as it

Attorney General of India PDF

For all the information given above regarding the Attorney General of India and much more, we are providing the downloadable link below. Candidates can save the PDF for studying and revision purposes. 

Attorney General of India PDF

Appointment of Attorney General of India

The Attorney General of India is appointed by the President of India on the advice of the Government of India/ Union Government. To be appointed to this post, he/ she must fulfill the following criteria:

  • He/ she must be a citizen of India
  • He/ she should have either completed 5 years as a High Court Judge of any state of India or 10 years as an advocate in the High Court
  • He/ she must be an eminent jurist in the eye of the President

Present Attorney General of India

R Venkataramani, a well-known Supreme Court lawyer, has been selected for a three-year term as India’s Attorney General. R Venkataramani has 42 years of Supreme Court of India expertise. In 1977, he joined the Tamil Nadu Bar Council and in 1979, he began working for Senior Supreme Court Advocate PP Rao. He established his own solo practice in the Supreme Court in 1982, and he was appointed Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court in 1997.

First Attorney General of India

M.C. Setalvad, India’s first Attorney General, held the job the longest—13 years—and was appointed twice. Motilal Chimanlal Setalvad (about 1884 – 1974) was an Indian jurist who served as the country’s first and longest-serving Attorney General. (1950–1963). He also served as the Chairman of India’s first Law Commission, which was established by the Indian government to improve the country’s legal system. (1955-1958). In 1961, he was appointed as the first Chairman of the Bar Council of India. In 1957, the Government of India bestowed upon him the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian accolade.

First Women Attorney General of India

The attorney general is in charge of advising the Indian government on legal matters that arise. They also carry out additional legal tasks given to them by the President. The attorney general may attend all Indian courts and participate in Parliamentary sessions, but he or she may not vote. There has never been a woman appointed as Attorney General of India.

List of Attorney General of India

The Attorney General is appointed by the President. The Supreme Court nominee should be qualified to serve. That is, he must be an Indian citizen and a high court judge for five years, a high court advocate for ten years, or, in the president’s opinion, a prominent jurist. Here is a list of all AGIs discovered in India so far:

Attorney General of India



1st AGI

MC Setalvad

28th January 1950 to 1st March 1963

2nd AGI

CK Daftari

2nd March 1963 to 30th October 1968

3rd AGI

Niren De

1st November 1968 to 31st March 1977

4th AGI

SV Gupte

1st April 1977 to 8th August 1979

5th AGI

LN Sinha

9th August 1979 to 8th August 1983

6th AGI

K Parasaran

9th August 1983 to 8th August 1989

7th AGI

Soli Sorabjee

9th December 1989 to 2nd December 1990

8th AGI

J Ramaswamy

3rd December 1990 to 23rd November 1992

9th AGI

Milon K Banerjee

21st November 1992 to 8th July 1996

10th AGI

Ashok Desai

9th July 1996 to 6th April 1998

11th AGI

Soli Sorabjee

7th April 1998 to 4th June 2004

12th AGI

Milon K Banerjee

5th June 2004 to 7th June 2009

13th AGI

Goolam Essaji Vahanvati

8th June 2009 to 11th June 2014

14th AGI

Mukul Rohatgi

12th June 2014 to 30th June 2017

15th AGI

KK Venugopal

30th June 2017 to September 22nd, 2022

16th AGI

R. Venkataramani

1st October 2022 – till date

Attorney General of India Functions

The attorney general is required to advise the Indian government on legal matters presented to them. The Attorney General of India’s functions is described below:

  • The Attorney General of India (AGI) advises the President of India on legal matters.
  • AGI provides legal advice to the Central Government/Government of India on matters delegated to him by the President of India.
  • AGI performs the duties assigned to him under the constitution or any other law.
  • AGI represents the Government of India in all Supreme Court of India issues. (GOI).
  • The Attorney General appears on behalf of the Government of India in any referral to the Supreme Court made by the President of India under Article 143 of the Indian Constitution. AGI also appears in high court cases on behalf of the Indian government.

Limitations of Attorney General of India

Below are the Limitations of the Attorney General of India which are listed point by point, candidates are advised to go through these points for complete information. 

  • A few limits apply to the Attorney General of India in order to avoid any conflict of duty.
  • AGI must not advise or represent the Union Government/Government of India.
  • In instances where he is called upon to advise or represent the Union Government/ GOI, AGI must not advise or represent the Union Government/ GOI.
  • Without the authorisation of the Union Government/GOI, AGI may not represent individuals in criminal cases.
  • AGI must not accept his position as a director of any corporation or firm unless the Union Government/GOI consents.

Rights of Attorney General of India

There are several rights and responsibilities of the Attorney General of India. We have discussed the major rights of the Attorney General of India for your reference. 

  • AGI has the right to be heard in any court in India. AGI is allowed to attend combined sittings and sessions of both Houses of the Indian Parliament.
  • He or she does not, however, have the right to vote.
  • AGI has the right to attend and speak at any meeting of any Parliamentary committee of which he is a member.
  • AGI enjoys all of the same privileges and immunities as Members of Parliament.
  • AGI is also free to practise privately because he is not prohibited from doing so.

Attorney General of India Salary

The Salary structure of the Attorney General of India is tabulated below including the Emoluments and allowances:

Position in the Indian order of precedence Post Net Salary per month 
11 Attorney General ₹250,000 

The fees and allowances payable to the Government of India’s law officers (including the Attorney General of India, the Solicitor General of India, and the Additional Solicitors General) are as follows.

Work Rates of payable fees
Suits, writ petitions, appeals and references under Article 143 ₹16,000/- per case per day
Special leave petitions and other applications  ₹5,000/- per case per day
For giving opinions in statements of cases sent by the Ministry of Law ₹10,000/- per case
For written submission before the Supreme Court, High Court ₹10,000/- per case
Appearance in Courts outside Delhi ₹40,000/- per day per case

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