Attorney General of India: Appointment, Term, Functions, Complete List

One of the highest official in India is the Attorney General of India who is the highest law officer of the country, as mentioned by Article 76 of the Constitution of India. The Attorney General of India is appointed the President of India. He/she is also the chief legal advisor to the Government of India, and therefore, acts as the advisor of the union government on all legal matters. He also performs all the other duties of a legal advisor that are advised to them by the President. The Attorney General of India is also the primary lawyer who represents the Union Government in the Supreme Court of India. 

Practice With,

Designation Attorney General of India
Current Position Held By K. K. Venugopal
Appointed By President on advice of Union Cabinet
Role Works as the chief legal advisor to the government and is primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India.
1st Attorney General of India Motilal C. Setalvad

Appointment of the Attorney General of India

The Attorney General of India is appointed by the country’s President. The President appoints a person who has the qualifications to be the Judge of Supreme Court, in addition to the following other qualifications:

  1. He/she should be a citizen of India. 
  2. He/she must have completed either five years as the judge of the High Court of any Indian state or ten years as a High Court advocate. 
  3. He/she must be a distinguished jurist. 

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Term of the Attorney General

The Attorney General of India does not have a fixed term of office. There is no specified tenure mentioned in the Constitution as well, in addition to the procedure or ground in which an Attorney General could be removed from their post. However, the Constitution does mention that:

  1. The Attorney General can be removed from their post by the President at any time.
  2. The Attorney General can quit if they submit their resignation to the President only. 
  3. Since an Attorney General is appointed by the President of India on the advice of the Council of Ministers, he/she is removed from their post when the Council is either replaced or dissolved. 

Role of the Attorney General

As the Chief Law Officer of India, the Attorney General has the following roles to fulfill:

  1. He/she advises the Union Government on all legal matters referred by the President. 
  2. He/she performs all the other duties of a legal advisor that are advised to them by the President. 
  3. He/she discharges any function that has been conferred on them by any law or the Constitution.
  4. He/she has to appear in the Supreme Court on the behalf of the Government of India if it is related to any legal case. 
  5. He/she has to represent the Union Government in any reference made by the President of India to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution of India. 
  6. He/she also has to appear in the High Court if any case related to the Government of India is going on.

Limitations of the Attorney General

The Constitution of India does impose a few limitations on the Attorney General which he/she should keep in mind while performing their duties. These limitations are:

  1. They should not hold a brief or advise against the Government of India. 
  2. Similarly, they should not hold a brief or advise in case they are called upon to advise for the Indian Government. 
  3.  They should not defend any accused person/s in criminal prosecutions without seeking the permission of the Government of India. 
  4. They should not accept an appointment as a director in any corporation or company without seeking permission and subsequent approval of the Indian Government first. 

Also Read,

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List of the Attorney Generals of India

Right from the creation of the Constitution of India, the country has seen 15 Attorney Generals till now. They are:

Attorney General Term
M. C. Setalvad 28 January 1950 – 1 March 1963
C. K. Daphtary 2 March 1963 – 30 October 1968
Niren De 1 November 1968 – 31 March 1977
S. V. Gupte 1 April 1977 – 8 August 1979
L. N. Sinha 9 August 1979 – 8 August 1983
K. Parasaran 9 August 1983 – 8 December 1989
Soli Sorabjee 9 December 1989 – 2 December 1990
G. Ramaswamy 3 December 1990 – 23 November 1992
Milon K. Banerji 21 November 1992 – 8 July 1996
Ashok Desai 9 July 1996 – 6 April 1998
Soli Sorabjee 7 April 1998 – 4 June 2004
Milon K. Banerji 5 June 2004 – 7 June 2009
Goolam Essaji Vahanvati 8 June 2009 – 11 June 2014
Mukul Rohatgi 19 June 2014 – 18 June 2017
K. K. Venugopal 1 July 2017 – present
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who was the first attorney general of India?

Motilal C. Setalvad

Q. Who was the longest serving attorney general of India?

Motilal C. Setalvad (1884–1974) was the first and longest serving attorney general of India.

Q. Who is the current attorney general of India?

K. K. Venugopal is the 15th and current attorney general of India.

Q. What is the role of attorney general of India?

The attorney general is the highest law officers of the nation and assists the government in legal matters.

Q. Who is the present Chief Justice of India?

Sharad Arvind Bobde is the current Chief Justice of India.

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