Solicitor General of India
- In addition to the AG, there are other law officers of the Government of India.
- They are the solicitor general of India and an additional solicitor general of India.
- He/She is the second law officer of the country.
- They assist the AG in the fulfillment of his official responsibilities.
- It should be noted here that only the office of the AG is created by the Constitution.
- Article 76 does not mention about the solicitor general and additional solicitor general.
Appointments of Solicitor General of India
- The posts of the Solicitor General and the Additional Solicitors General are merely statutory.
- Appointments Committee of the Cabinet(ACC) recommends the appointment and president officially appoints the Solicitor General.
- The proposal for appointment of Solicitor General, Additional Solicitor General is generally moved at the level of Joint secretary/Law Secretary in the Department of Legal Affairs and after obtaining the approval of the Minister of Law & Justice, the proposal goes to the ACC and then to the president.
- Eligible for reappointment.
Duties of Solicitor General of India are laid out in Law Officers (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1987:
- to give advice to the Government of India upon such legal matters, and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may from time to time, be referred or assigned to him by the Government of India.
- to appear, whenever required, in the Supreme Court or in any High Court on behalf of the Government of India in cases (including suits, writ petitions, appeal and other proceedings) in which the Government of India is concerned as a party or is otherwise interested;
- to represent the Government of India in any reference made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution; and
- to discharge such other functions as are conferred on a Law Officer by or under the Constitution or any other Law for the time being in force.
Restrictions of private practice of Solicitor General of India
As law officers represent government of India, there are certain restrictions which are put on their private practice. A law officer is not allowed to:
- hold briefs in any court for any party except the Government of India or the government of a State or any University, Government School or College, local authority, Public Service Commission, Port Trust, Port Commissioners, Government aided or Government managed hospitals, a Government company, any Corporation owned or controlled by the State, any body or institution in which the Government has a preponderating interest;
- advice any party against the Government of India or a Public Sector Undertaking, or in cases in which he is likely to be called upon to advise, or appear for, the Government of India or a Public Sector Undertaking;
- defend an accused person in a criminal prosecution, without the permission of the Government of India; or
- accept appointment to any office in any company or corporation without the permission of the Government of India;
- advise any Ministry or Department of Government of India or any statutory organization or any Public Sector Undertaking unless the proposal or a reference in this regard is received through the Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Legal Affairs.
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