Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Attorney General of India - Article 76 Constitution of India

Article 76 provides for the office of the Attorney General for India. The Attorney General of India is the first law officer of the Government of India.

Appointment and Term of Office -

The Attorney General of India is appointed by the President of India. In order to be appointed as the Attorney General of India, the person must be qualified to be a judge of the Supreme Court. He holds office during the presence of the President. This means that he may be removed by the President at any time. He may also quit his office by submitting his resignation addressed to the President of India. Conventionally as a practice, he resigns when the Council of Ministers resign or is replaced as he is appointed on the advice of the Council of Ministers.

Duties and Functions - 

1. To give advice to the Government of India on legal matters.

2. To perform other legal duties which are referred or assigned to him by the President.

3. To discharge the functions conferred on him by the Constitution or any other law.

In the performance of his legal duties, the Attorney General enjoys the right of audience in all the courts inside the territory of India. He is also entitled to take part in the proceedings of the Parliament and the Parliamentary Committees without the right to vote. He represents the Union and the States before the courts and is also allowed to take up private practice provided the other party is not the State. Due to this reason he is not paid salary but a retainer to be determined by the President. By convention, the Attorney General of India gets a retainer equivalent to the salary of the judge of the Supreme Court. 

In England, the Attorney General of India is the member of the cabinet, but in India he is not. It is political appointment and therefore, whenever there is a change in party in power, the  Attorney General of India resigns from this post to enable the new Government to appoint a nominee of its choice. The Attorney General of India is assisted by two Solicitor General and four Additional Solicitor Generals.

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