Attorney General of India Current Affairs - 2019

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Lokpal Search Committee holds its First Meeting

The Lokpal Search Committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai held its first meeting and discussed modalities related to the appointments of the chief and members of Lokpal.

The other members of the committee include former chief of State Bank of India (SBI) Arundhati Bhattacharya, Prasar Bharati chairperson Surya Prakash, former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) head A S Kiran Kumar, former Allahabad High Court judge Sakha Ram Singh Yadav, former Gujarat Police head Shabbirhusein S Khandwawala, retired IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre Lalit K Panwar and Ranjit Kumar

Supreme Court Sets a Deadline

The Supreme Court has set a February-end deadline for the search committee to send a panel of names who could be considered for the appointment as chairman and members of Lokpal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee.

Selection of Lokpal

The names proposed by the search committee would be scrutinised by the selection committee headed by Prime Minister and comprising of Speaker of Lok Sabha, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by CJI and an Eminent jurist to be nominated by President of India on basis of recommendations of the first four members of the selection committee through consensus.

Upon the recommendation of the selection committee, President has nominated Mukul Rohatgi, former Attorney General of India as ’eminent jurist’ member of the panel against the vacancy arising following the death of senior advocate P P Rao.

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KK Venugopal appointed as Attorney General of India

President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed senior advocate and constitutional expert K K Venugopal (86) as the new Attorney General of India. He will be 15th Attorney General of India.

He succeeds Mukul Rohatgi as the country’s top law officer. Earlier, in the Morarji Desai’ government (1977-79), Venugopal had served as Additional Solicitor General of India

About K K Venugopal

In his 50-year legal career, he had handled many high profile cases such as Mandal case, Ayodhya dispute, Presidential reference regarding appointment of Judges and also case involving judicial appointments. He assisted the Supreme Court in a number of cases and was amicus curiae in the infamous 2G spectrum case. He also had represented senior BJP leader L K Advani in the Babri Masjid demolition case. He is the recipient of Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan.

About Attorney General of India

Attorney General for India is the Indian government’s chief legal advisor, and its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court 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 is part of Union Executive.

Qualification

He must be a person qualified to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court or an eminent jurist, in the opinion of the President and must be a citizen of India.

Functions

Attorney General is the first law officer of the government of India and acts as top advocate for Union Government. He is responsible for giving advice to President/ Union Government upon such legal matters and to perform such other duties of legal character which are assigned to him by the President.

He has right of audience in all courts within the territory of India. He has also the right to speak and take part in proceedings of both the houses of parliament including joint sittings. But cannot vote in parliament.Further, he can also be made a member of any parliamentary committee but in the committee also, he has no power to vote. He has all the powers and privileges that of a member of parliament.

Private Practice

Attorney General of India is not a full time Government servant. He is an advocate of the government and is allowed to take up private practice, provided the other party is not the state. Further, without permission of the government he cannot defend the accused persons in criminal matters.

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