September 13, 2009

Attorney General of India


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

2-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.

3-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.[1] 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.


The current Attorney General is G E Vahanvati, who was appointed by the Congress-led government after the 2009 General Elections.

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.


Former Attorneys General

The Attorneys General of India since independence are listed below[5]:

Attorney General Term Incumbent Prime Minister
M.C. Setalvad 28.01.1950 - 01.03.1963 Jawaharlal Nehru
C.K. Daphtary 02.03.1963 - 30.10.1963 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. Banerjee 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. Banerjee 05.06.2004 - 07.06.2009 Manmohan Singh
G E Vahanvati 08.06.2009 - Manmohan Singh


  1. The Solicitor General for India is subordinate to the Attorney General of India. The Solicitor General for India is the second law officer of the country, assists the Attorney General, and is himself assisted by four Additional Solicitors General for India.[1] Unlike the Attorney General, Solicitor General does not tender legal advice to the Government of India. His workload is confined to appear in courts on behalf of the Union of India.

  2. presently Gopal Subramanium is solicitor general of india