Attorney General of India


    In News

    Recently, eminent jurist and former Attorney General of India (AGI) Soli Sorabjee has passed away.

    About Soli Sorabjee

    • He was twice appointed AGI (first in 1989 for a year and again in 1998 for five years).
    • Major Contributions
      • He appeared in several historic cases, including the Kesavananda Bharati case (1973) or the Basic Structure Doctrine case.
        • The Constitutional Bench ruled that Parliament could amend any part of the Constitution as long as it did not alter or amend the basic structure or essential features of the Constitution.
      • He received the Padma Vibhushan (second-highest civilian award in India) for championing free speech and human rights.
      • He worked for the Sikh community pro bono after the Sikh riots of 1984.

    Attorney General of India

    • AGI is the highest law officer in the country and is part of the Union Executive.
      • The AGI is assisted by two Solicitor Generals and four Additional Solicitor Generals.
    • Constitution Articles
      • Article 76 mentions about AGI.
      • Article 165 mentions about the Advocate General of the States.
    • Eligibility
      • Must be qualified to be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court (SC).
      • Must be a citizen of India.
      • Must have been a judge of some High Court (HC) for five years or an advocate of some HC for ten years or an eminent jurist, in the opinion of the President.
    • Tenure: The Constitution has not fixed the tenure of the AGI.
    • Appointment: AGI is appointed by the President on the advice of the Government.
    • Functions
      • Advise the Government on legal matters referred to him/her by the President.
      • Perform other such duties of a legal character, assigned by the President.
      • Appear on behalf of the Government in all cases in the SC or in any case in any High Court in which the Government is concerned.
      • Represent the Government in any reference made by the President to the SC under Article 143 (Power of the President to consult the SC) of the Constitution.
      • Discharge the functions conferred by the Constitution or any other law.
    • Rights
      • Has the Right to Speak and to take part in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament or their joint sitting and any committee of the Parliament of which he/she may be named a member.
      • Enjoys all the privileges and immunities that are available to a member of Parliament.
      • Does not fall in the category of government servants and is not debarred from private legal practice.
    • Limitations
      • AGI does not have the Right to Vote in the House proceedings or in committee he/she might be a member of.
      • AGI should not advise against or hold a brief against the Government.
    • Removal: AGI holds the office during the pleasure of the President and can be removed by the President at any time.
      • However, the Constitution does not mention the grounds for the removal of AGI or the procedure for it. 

    Source: TH