The Attorney General is the chief legal adviser of Government of India. Attorney Generalnof India is appointed by the President under Article 76 of Indian Constitution. Attorney General is said to be the lawyer from the government side.
One part of the Attorney General’s role is that of a Cabinet Minister. In this capacity the Minister is responsible for representing the interests and perspectives of the Ministry at Cabinet, while simultaneously representing the interests and perspectives of Cabinet and consequently the Government to the Ministry and the Ministry’s communities of interest.
He is appointed by the President of India under Article 76(1) of the Constitution and holds office during the pleasure of the President.
It shall be the duty of the Attorney-General to give advice to the Government of India upon 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, and to discharge the functions conferred on him by or under this Constitution or any other law for the time being in force. In the performance of his duties the Attorney-General shall have right of audience in all courts The Attorney General as the Law Officer of the Executive Council because:
He gives advice to the Government of India upon such legal matters, which are referred or assigned to him by the president. He performs such other duties of a legal character that are referred or assigned to him by the president. He discharges the functions conferred on him by or under the Constitution or any other law.
The Attorney General has a special role to play in advising Cabinet to ensure the rule of law is maintained and that Cabinet actions are legally and constitutionally valid.
He shall advise the Government upon all matters of law connected with legislative enactments and upon all matters of law referred to him or her by the Government.
Attorney General for India is primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India because: • He appears on behalf of the government of India in all the cases in Supreme Court in which the Government of India is concerned.
• He appears on behalf of the government of India in any reference made by the president to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the constitution.
• He appears on behalf of the government of India in any case in a high court in which the Government of India is concerned, if Government of India requires so.
Below mentioned are the Limitations placed on the Attorney General:
• He should not advise or hold a brief against the Government of India.
• He should not defend accused persons in criminal cases without the permission of the government of India.
• He should not accept appointment as a director in any company without the permission of government.
He/she must be a person qualified to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court, also must have been a judge of some high court for five years or an advocate of some high court for ten years or an eminent jurist, in the opinion of the President and must be a citizen of India.
The term of office of the Attorney General is not fixed by the Constitution.
Further, the Constitution does not contain the procedure and grounds for his removal. He holds office during the pleasure of the President.
This means that he may be removed by the President at any tim
Powers and functions of Attorney General of India:
● As a Chief Legal adviser of the government Attorney General of India has to give the advice to the government of India upon such legal matters which assigned to him by the President.
● As lawyer from the government side Attorney general is required to appear on behalf of the government of India in Supreme Court in which the government of India is concerned.
● He may also be required to appear in any High Court on behalf of the government of India which the Government of India is concerned.
● In the performance of his duties, the Attorney general of India has right to audience in any Court in the territory of India.
● The Attorney General of India has right to speak and take a part in the proceeding of any house of Parliament, without the right to give vote (Article 88). The Attorney General of India is entitled to get all the immunities and privileges as a Member of Parliament.
● Unlike the Attorney General of the United States, the Attorney General for India does not have any executive authority. Those functions are performed by the Law Minister of India.
Also, he is not a government servant and is not debarred from private legal practice.
● The Attorney General can accept briefs but cannot appear against the Government. He cannot defend an accused in the criminal proceedings and accept the directorship of a company without the permission of the Government.
● 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 Law Ministry.
● He is an advocate of the government and is allowed to take up private practice, provided the other party is not the state.
The Attorney General is the first Law Officer of India. He is the Chief Legal Advisor to the Central Government and also acts as a lawyer in the Supreme Court on behalf of it. He also represents to the Government of India in any reference made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution. All references are made to the Attorney General by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice.
It should be noted that the AG is not debarred from private legal practice. He is not a government servant as he is not paid fixed salary and his remuneration is decided by the president. The Attorney General is the chief law officer of the Executive Council. The responsibilities stemming from this role are unlike those of any other Cabinet member. The role has been referred to as “judicial-like” and as the “guardian of the public interest”.
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