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The Attorney-General of India

  • The Attorney General is the first law officer of the government of India.
  • He is appointed by the President of India under Article 76(1) of the Constitution and holds office during the pleasure of the President. He must be a person qualified to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • The Attorney General, like an Advocate General of a State is not supposed to be a political appointee, in spirit, but this is not the case in practice. Every time a party comes to power in the general elections, all the law officers resign and law officers loyal to the new party are appointed.
  • The Attorney General is responsible for giving advice to the Government of India upon such legal matters and to perform such other duties of legal character as may be referred or assigned to him by the President.
  • The Attorney General has the right of audience in all Courts in India as well as the right to participate in the proceedings of the Parliament, though not to vote.
  • The Attorney General appears on behalf of Government of India in all cases(including suits, appeals and other proceedings) in the Supreme Court in which Government of India is concerned. He/She also represents the Government of India in any reference made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution.
  • The Attorney General is assisted by a Solicitor General and four Additional Solicitors General.
  • The Attorney General is to be consulted only in legal matters of real importance and only after the Ministry of Law has been consulted.
  • All references to the Attorney General are made by the Ministry of Law. The Attorney General can accept briefs but cannot appear against the Government.
  • He/She cannot defend an accused in the criminal proceedings and accept the directorship of a company without the permission of the Government.

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