Attorney General of India

IAS Prelims 2023

The Attorney-General of India is the first Law Officer of the Government of India.

The Attorney-General is appointed by the President and he holds office during the pleasure of the President.

In order to be appointed as the Attorney General of India, a person must have qualified to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court.

Though the Attorney General of India is not (as in England) a member of the Cabinet, he shall also have the right to speak in the Houses of Parliament or in any Committee thereof, but shall have no right to vote [Art. 88].

By virtue of his office, he is entitled to the privileges of a member of parliament [Art. 105(4)].

In the performance of his official duties, the Attorney General shall have a right of audience in all Courts in the territory of India.

He represents the Union & the States before the courts but is also allowed to take up private practice provided the other party is not the state.  Because of this he is not paid salary but a retainer to be determined by the president.

In England, the Attorney-General is a member of the cabinet but in India he is not.  It is a political appointment, and therefore, whenever there is a change in the party in power, the Attorney General resigns form his past to enable the new government to appoint a nominee of its choice.

The Attorney General is assisted by two Solicitors General and four Additional Solicitors General.  The Attorney General gets a retainer equivalent to the salary of a judge of the Supreme Court.

Duties of the Attorney General of India are: 

To give advice on such legal matters and to perform such other duties of a legal character as may, from time to time, be referred or assigned to him by the President.

To discharge the functions conferred on him by the Constitution or any other law for the time being in force [Art. 76].