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Attorney-Generals of India

The Attorney General for India is the Indian government's chief legal advisor, and its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India.

The Attorney General for India is appointed by the President of India under Article 76(1) of the Constitution of India 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 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.

Unlike the Attorney General of the United States, the Attorney General of India does not have any executive authority, and is not a political appointee; those functions are performed by the Law Minister of India.

The Attorney General of India, 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, in India, all the law officers resign, and law officers loyal to the new party are appointed.

Attorney General Term Incumbent Prime Minister

M. C. Setalvad
28.01.1950- 01.03.1963 Jawaharlal Nehru

C.K. Daphtary
02.03.1963 - 30.10.1968 Jawaharlal Nehru

Niren De
01.11.1968 - 31.03.1977 Indira Gandhi

S.V. Gupte
01.04.1977 - 08.08.1979 Morarji Desai

L.N. Sinha
09.08.1979 - 08.08.1983 Indira Gandhi

K. Parasaran
09.08.1983 - 08.12.1989 Indira Gandhi;
Rajiv Gandhi

Soli Sorabjee
09.12.1989 - 02.12.1990 V.P. Singh;
Chandra Shekhar

G. Ramaswamy
03.12.1990 - 23.11.1992 Chandra Shekhar;
P. V. Narasimha Rao

Milon K. Banerji
21.11.1992 - 08.07.1996 P. V. Narasimha Rao

Ashok Desai
09.07.1996 - 06.04.1998 H. D. Devegowda;
Inder Kumar Gujral

Soli Sorabjee
07.04.1998 - 04.06.2004 Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Milon K. Banerji
05.06.2004 - 07.06.2009 Manmohan Singh

Goolam Essaji Vahanvati
08.06.2009 -11 June 2014 Manmohan Singh

Mukul Rohatgi
12 June 2014 – 18 June 2017 Narendra Damodardas Modi

K. K. Venugopal
1 July 2017 – present Narendra Damodardas Modi

Last updated on: 04/11/2019


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