K K Venugopal, Supreme Court of India’s senior advocate, is now India’s 15th attorney general. Outgoing AG, Mukul Rohatgi, today passed the baton to Venugopal. Earlier, a lot of famous names came to the fore, for the post of India’s top law officer, but speculations were rife over names like current solicitor general Ranjit Kumar and former solicitor general Harish Salve. However, K K Venugopal had himself called the speculation that he could very well be the next one as premature. The Attorney General for India is the Indian government’s chief legal advisor and its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. An Attorney General is appointed by the President of India under Article 76(1) of the Constitution and holds office during the pleasure of the President. Meanwhile, 86-year-old Venugopal, hailing from Kerala’s Kasargode district started his legal career in Mysore, in 1954, before practising at the Madras High Court under his father, late barrister M K Nambiar and brings over five decades of legal experience with him. According to a report in CNN News 18, President Pranab Mukherjee made the appointment today.
Born into a Nair-caste family hailing from Kerala state, Venugopal grew up in Mangalore, Karnataka.Venugopal studied law in Raja Lakhamgouda Law College, Belgaum, Karnataka. His father, M.K. Nambiar, was a barrister. Venugopal studied at St. Aloysius College in Mangalore. He shifted to Delhi when he was appointed additional solicitor general after the Emergency in the 1970s. According to an IE report, in 1972 he was designated as a senior advocate and made his mark in several important cases, including the one pertaining to the Mandal Commission matter. He was instrumental in urging the apex court to stay the implementation of the Mandal Commission to stop an escalation in student violence. A major highlight of Venugopal’s career was in the year 1979 when he was made the Additional Solicitor General by the then Janata Party government.
You may also like to watch:
Being a constitutional expert, Venugopal has appeared for several high-profile cases, including for BJP leader L K Advani in the Babri Masjid demolition case. Venugopal had represented A B Vajpayee and Advani when they were arrested upon imposition of the Emergency. As the Attorney General of India will be the oldest Indian ever to hold the post. Venugopal has more than five decades of legal experience and is also one of the highest paid lawyers in India. A report in Legally India pegged his fee per appearance between five to 15 lakhs.
Venugopal was also appointed by the Royal Government of Bhutan to serve as the Constitutional adviser for the drafting of the Constitution of Bhutan. In 2015, he was conferred Padma Vibhushan award, the second-highest civilian honour in India, by the government. He had previously received the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honour.