“The Attorney-General is the chief legal adviser and lawyer of the Government of India.” Discuss.
Office of Attorney-General is a constitutional body and is the highest law officer of the country. The Attorney-General has the right of audience in all courts within the territory of India and has also the right to speak and take part in proceedings of both the houses of parliament including joint sittings.
Chief Legal Advisor and Lawyer of Government of India
The Attorney-General as the chief legal advisor of the Government of India:
- Advices the central government on such matters referred by the president.
- Performs other duties of the legal character assigned to him by the president.
- Discharges any other duties conferred to him by the constitution or any other law.
The Attorney-General as the lawyer of the Government of India:
- Appears before the Supreme Court on behalf of the central government on the cases concerning the government of India.
- Represents government of India in reference made by the President to the Supreme Court of India under Article 143 of the constitution.
- Appears in High Courts in cases where the government of India is concerned.
- Attorney-General cannot advise or hold a brief against the government of India.
- Attorney-General cannot advise or hold a brief in which he is called to represent or advise the government.
- Attorney-General cannot defend the accused in criminal cases without the prior permission of the government.
But it has to be noted here that the Attorney-General is not a full-time counsel of the government and is not debarred from private legal practice.