Advocate General of the State (AGS)

0
1107
Advocate General of the State (AGS)
Advocate General of the State (AGS)

The Advocate General of the State (AGS), a constitutional body, stands as a pillar of the State’s legal system. As the Chief Legal Advisor to the State Government, he/she plays a pivotal role in shaping the legal landscape of the State. This article of NEXT IAS aims to study in detail the Advocate General of the State (AGS), including its constitutional mandate, composition, powers, functions, limitations faced, and other related aspects.

  • The Constitution of India has established the office of the Advocate General of the State (AGS) as the highest law officer in the State.
    • Since it is established directly under the provisions of the Constitution, it is a Constitutional Body.
  • The Advocate General of the State is the Chief Legal Advisor to the State Government and advises it on all legal matters.
  • The Advocate General of the State is also the primary lawyer of the State Government and is its legal representative in the Supreme Court of India and High Courts.
  • The Advocate General of the State is a part of the State Executive.
    • The State Executive consists of:
      • The Governor,
      • The Chief Minister,
      • The Council of Ministers (CoM), and
      • The Advocate General of the State.
    • It is to be noted that the Advocate General of the State is not a member of the State Cabinet. There is a separate Law Minister to look after legal matters at the state government level.

Prominent constitutional provisions dealing with the Advocate General of the State can be seen as follows:

ArticlesSubject-Matter
Article 165Advocate General of State
Article 177Rights of the Advocate General with respect to the Houses of State Legislature and its Committees
Article 194Powers, privileges, and immunities of Advocate General

The Advocate General of a state is appointed by the Governor of the concerned State.

  • To be appointed as the Advocate General of the State, a person should be eligible to be appointed as a judge of the High Court. Thus, he/she
    • Must be a citizen of India,
    • Must have held a judicial office (within the judicial service of the State) for 10 years; OR been an advocate of a High Court for 10 years.

The term of office of the Advocate General is not fixed by the Constitution.

  • The Constitution does not contain the procedure and grounds for the removal of the Advocate General.
  • He holds office during the pleasure of the Governor.
    • Thus, he/she may be removed by the Governor at any time.
  • The Advocate General may quit his office by submitting his resignation to the Governor of the State.
    • It has been a convention that he/she resigns when the government (Council of Ministers) resigns or is replaced, as he is appointed on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
  • The remuneration of the Advocate General is not fixed by the Constitution.
    • He receives such remuneration as determined by the Governor.
Note: The Advocate General represents the State Government but is allowed to take up private practice subject to certain limitations. Because of this, he/she is not paid a salary but a retainer to be determined by the Governor.

In the capacity of the Chief Law Officer of the Government of the State, the Advocate General of the State has to perform the following duties:

  • To advise the Government of the State upon such legal matters, which are referred to him by the Governor.
  • To perform such other duties of a legal character that are assigned to him by the Governor.
  • To discharge the functions conferred on him by the Constitution or any other law.

The Advocate General of the State has the following rights:

  • He/she has the ‘Right of Audience’ in all courts within the territory of the State in the performance of his/her official duties.
  • He/she has the ‘Right to Speak’ and to ‘Take part in the Proceedings’ of both the Houses of the State Legislature or any committee of the State Legislature of which he may be named a member but without the right to vote.
  • He enjoys all the privileges and immunities that are available to a Member of the State Legislature.

In order to avoid any conflict of duty or any complications therein, the following limitations are placed on the Advocate General of the State:

  • He should not hold briefs in any court for any party except the respective State Government.
  • He should not advise any party against the respective State Government in which he is likely to be called upon to advise or appear for the Government of the State.
  • He should not defend an accused person in a criminal prosecution, without the permission of the respective State Government.
  • He should not accept appointment to any office in any company or corporation without the permission of the respective State Government.
Note: The Advocate General of the State is not a full-time counsel for the State Government. He does not fall into the category of Government Servants. Further, he is not debarred from the private legal practice.
DimensionsAttorney General of IndiaAdvocate General of the State
AppointmentPresidentGovernor
QualificationAt par with a Judge of the Supreme CourtAt par with the Judge of a High Court
RemunerationAs decided by the PresidentAs decided by the Governor
Term/Prosecution/Grounds of RemovalNot mentioned in the ConstitutionNot mentioned in the Constitution
Rights– Right of audience in all courts in the territory of India.
– Speaks and takes part in Parliament, and enjoys powers and privileges of a Member of Parliament.
– No right to vote.
– Not barred from private practice.
– Right of audience in all courts within the territory of the State.
– Speaks and takes part in the State Legislature, and enjoys the powers and privileges of a Member of the State Legislature.
– No right to vote.
– Not barred from private practice.

In conclusion, the Advocate General of the State serves as a vital pillar of the state’s legal framework, upholding the rule of law and ensuring the effective functioning of the State Government in legal matters. As an indispensable figure in the State’s legal landscape, the Advocate General plays a pivotal role in advancing justice, upholding the Constitution, and ensuring the fair administration of law in the State.

Who appoints the Advocate General of State?

The Governor appoints the Advocate General of the State.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here