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Subjects /Indian Polity / The Attorney General of India (AGI)

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30 Jul 2020

According to Article 76, the President appoints a person having the qualification to become a judge of Apex Court, to be AGI.

He is the first legal officer of the Government of India and holds his office at the pleasure of the President.

Appointment of AGI

According to a convention, AGI resigns when a new Government is formed and this government appoints a person of its choice as new AGI.

Qualification of the AGI

His qualifications are same as are required to be a Judge of the Supreme Court.

Salary of the AGI

The AGI is not given any salary but ‘retainer’ which is decided by the President from time to time. Presently, his retainer is equal to the salary of the Judge of the Supreme Court.

He is given retainer and not salary because his job is contractual in nature and therefore, he is allowed to have his private practice.

He is not a whole-time counsel for the Government nor a Government Servant.

To assist AGI there are 2 Solicitors General and 4 Additional Solicitors General.

Duties of AGI

  • The AGI advises the President on legal matters and performs such legal functions as mentioned in the Constitution or assigned to him from time to time by the President.
  • He is the official advocate of Government of India and defend the Union Government in Supreme Court or High Court in those cases in which Government of India is a part.
  • In any civil case, he can’t give any briefing or advice to any person against Government of India, neither he can defend that person against Government of India because he is supposed to defend Government of India.
  • However, in a Criminal Case with prior permission of the President, he can defend any accused person.
  • As long as he is AGI he can’t be appointed as a Director in any Company.

Privileges of AGI

  • The AGI has the right of an audience in any court throughout the territory of India including ‘in-camera’ proceedings.
  • He is not a member of either house of the Parliament; however, he has the right to attend sessions of the Parliament and speak in it, participate in debates but without having any right to vote in the Parliament.
  • He has all the privileges and prerogatives as enjoyed by MP’s.