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Mains Answer Writing


Q1) “The Attorney General of India holds a pivotal position in the legal system and represents the interests of the government.” Explain how this is reflected in the method and terms of appointment as well as the scope of her powers and responsibilities.

(150 Words/10 Marks)


Attorney General of India is the highest and senior most law officer in the country. Article 76 of the constitution provides for the post of the Attorney General of India.

The pivotal position of the Attorney General in the country’s legal system is reflected as:

  1. High seniority: Appointed by the President, the Attorney General should be a person who should be qualified to become a judge of the Supreme Court.
  2. Term of Office:
  3. Attorney General, a part of the Union Executive, holds the office during the pleasure of President.
  4. As a convention, being a political appointee, Attorney General submits his/her resignation to the President upon the change of government.
  5. Duties and Functions:
  6. As the chief law officer of the government of India, the Attorney General gives advice on such legal matters, which are referred to her by the President.
  7. In the performance of her duties, the Attorney General has the right of audience in all courts in the territory of India.
  8. The certification of AGI is necessary to initiate the contempt proceedings in Supreme Court.
  9. The AGI has the right to speak and take part in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament, joint sittings of the Houses, committee of the Parliament, of which she is named a member, but without a right to vote.
  10. Attorney General appears on behalf of the Government of India in all cases in the Supreme Court in which the Government of India is concerned and in any of the High Courts where the Government of India is concerned.
  11. She represents the GoI in any reference made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution.
  12. Limitations placed on Attorney General:
  13. The AGI is disallowed to advise or hold a brief against the Government of India.
  14. Further, the AGI should not defend accused persons in criminal prosecutions without the permission of the Government of India.
  15. To prevent any conflict of interests, the Attorney General of India should not accept appointment as a director in any company or cooperation without the permission of the Government of India.
  16. The Attorney General of India should not advice any ministry or department of Government of India or any statutory organization or any public sector undertakings unless the proposals or a reference in this regard is received through the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Attorney General of India though a member of the Union Executive is still not a full-time member of the Government. With some restrictions, the AGI can continue her private legal practice.

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